Today’s labor market is like selling your t-shirt in a large department store; as customers (candidates) stroll through the aisles they’re pulled at by more options (jobs) than they know what to do with. Making your t-shirt the one they grab requires you to stand out in a big way — to rise above the rest.
That’s why last month’s RallyFwd Virtual Conference focused on the theme of Breakthrough Employer Branding. Our 8 experts pulled from their diverse expertise to offer the Breakthrough Employer Branding strategies and technologies bringing them success in today’s competitive talent market, and how you can implement these same strategies and technologies to help you break through the noise and meet your own talent goals.
If you missed any of the sessions, you can access the full RallyFwd Virtual Conference on demand at your convenience. Each speaker and session brings something unique to the table, but they all center around one main goal: helping you differentiate yourself as an employer and attract more talent going into the future.
Check out the top takeaways below for a taste of the full conference!
1. Before you can break through, you have to fail
Session: Failing Your Way to Employer Brand Success
Speaker: Jonna Sjövall, Labor Global Head of Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing, UBS
Breaking through to candidates, by definition, means you have to do something that none of your competitors are doing. But to get to that point, you have to go through a lot of experimentation, most of which is going to end in failure. And that’s okay!
As Jonna Sjövall emphasized in her session, failing needs to be not just tolerated among Recruitment Marketing teams but encouraged! Practitioners need to feel free to try attracting talent in unconventional ways and not be punished when things don’t work out – and that they’re direct leaders will stand by them if heat or pushback comes down from higher up in the company.
But if your leaders aren’t spearheading this pro-failure conversation at your company, it’s up to you and your team to do it. One great tip offered by Jonna was to start by asking to “crash a small car,” meaning to try something new that, if it fails, doesn’t result in the end of the world. This could mean a new approach in the imagery and messaging you use in an advertising campaign for a small talent audience segment, for example.
If you’re wondering what the definition of a small car crash is, think of an A/B test. Rather than risk sending an email with one subject line to everyone and not seeing the results you’d hoped, you try our 2 different subject lines, send them each to a limited number of people, see which one gets opened more and then send winner subject line to the remainder of your audience.
This embodies the perfect small crash crash: quick activation, low stakes, fast results and an obvious path forward.
2. More important than your products are the people behind them
Session: From Products to People: The Difference in Your Employer Brand
Speaker: Edoardo Ambrosi, Global Manager – University Relations, Early Talents & Employer Branding, ABB
When you have a truly unique product or service, it’s natural to want to lead with it in not just your corporate branding but also your employer brand. Once they see what you offer, candidates will have no choice but to hit that apply button, right?
Well, sort of. While your stellar products should be a part of your employer brand, recent data suggests that candidates care just as much, if not more, about stories of the people at your company.
This is the approach that Edoardo Ambrosi took to refresh ABB’s employer brand. By showcasing the stories of the people behind ABB’s industry-leading technology, he killed 2 birds with 1 stone; he promoted the amazing products that candidates will get to help make at ABB, and he highlighted the even more amazing people they’ll get to work with.
Edoardo’s recipe for success came down to:
- Recognizing that it had been a long time since ABB refreshed their employer brand and that a change was needed
- Listening to what candidates wanted and what current employees loved about ABB to understand what direction to take their refresh
- Gathering examples of other companies’ employer brands and benchmark data in support of his proposed refresh
- Using all of this data to prove to leadership that a refresh was needed and get their support
- Involving stakeholders all throughout the process, keeping them in the loop and making sure they understand their responsibilities in the proposed refresh
- Making ABB’s employer and corporate brands work together by highlighting the people that make ABB’s esteemed technology possible
- Not waiting for the perfect launch and getting bogged down by paralysis by analysis but instead getting the ball rolling and iterating based on data
All of this is to say that your corporate brand and employer brand aren’t necessarily separate, they can (and should!) work together to strengthen each other.
3. Data takes the personal out of the conversation
Session: Listening: The Most Powerful Tool in Building Your Employer Brand
Speaker: Tony Suzda, Director of Talent Acquisition and Talent Strategy, Dent Wizard International
I don’t think that’ll work. Based on my experience, that’s not a good idea. Candidates aren’t going to respond to that.
Do any of these sound familiar? As Tony Suzda can attest, when you’re dealing with someone on your team, or — even more challenging — someone with more seniority than you, who doesn’t agree with an idea you have, it can be hard to stand your ground.
At least without data. With data, you remove all of the “I thinks” and the “probablys” and replace them with cold, hard facts.
For example, after being told he couldn’t change Dent Wizard’s corporate site, Tony worked around the challenge by launching a new employer brand on a completely separate careers site. This move was hugely successful, with 95% of candidates now going into interviews having seen the company’s new Be a Wizard branding. Seeing this data, his leaders now want him and his team to revamp Dent Wizard’s corporate site using a similar approach.
This shows why it’s so important to be measuring the Recruitment Marketing and employer branding work that you’re doing. Candidate engagement from email and social campaigns; applications resulting from the employer brand content you’re putting out; job referrals from people in your talent community. When you can measure these things, you can bring data to leadership or team members and say “look, I tried my idea and it produced 10x applications in a month”, in which case they’ll most likely change their tune and start supporting your idea.
Similarly, though, you can also say “look, I tried your idea and candidate engagement went down”, in which case they’ll most likely have an easier time letting their idea go. Either way, data is a great way to get everyone on the same page.
4. A holistic approach is how you get leadership on board
Session: A Proven Blueprint for a Successful Employee Advocacy Program
Speaker: Ally Brown, Employer Brand Manager, VCA Animal Hospitals
Getting that day-one supporter behind your Recruitment Marketing strategy is challenging. One way to do it, though, is by understanding and presenting how your work can benefit the larger talent acquisition goals of your leaders or company.
To accomplish this, you can follow the approach Ally Brown took to gain buy-in for building an employee advocacy program at her company: show how your work will also impact your stakeholders’ goals and pain points. Ally recommends using a framework like OGSM to do this, which stands for:
- Objective: Why are you doing this? Is it because you want to build more brand trust, more authenticity or you don’t have the budget and earned media is your only option?
- Goals: Are you trying to increase awareness, change brand perception or is it directly tied to hires?
- Strategies: How will your advocates reach your audiences, and how will you get your employees to be advocates? What will your program include? What’s in scope, what’s out of scope?
- Measures: How will you measure your progress? What does success look like? How does it tie back to your goals and objectives, and the goals of your stakeholders?
By presenting your strategy in this way, you’ll make it much easier for leadership to wrap their heads around what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as how it relates to helping them and the company’s larger talent acquisition goals.
Rally Note: Combine this approach with the use of Rally’s free Recruitment Marketing Measurement Kit, which you can use to plan, measure, analyze, benchmark and report on your winning Recruitment Marketing strategy.
If you enjoyed these takeaways, equip yourself with even more tips, tactics and tools to help you differentiate your employer brand by watching the full sessions from RallyFwd Dn Demand!
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 PandoLogic, Appcast, Gem, Jobvite, Skuid and Clinch.