There may not be a Michael Jordan of recruiting, but Seth Godin, a bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur, comes pretty close. Though his expertise is in marketing — Godin is a frequent keynote speaker and prolific blogger — much of Godin’s insight and advice apply to the recruiting industry as well. After all, what is recruiting if not another form of marketing? Where marketers work to attract customers and increase brand awareness, recruiters work to attract candidates and increase employment brand awareness.
Given these similarities, employers, recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals could learn a lot from marketers when it comes to creating their talent acquisition strategies. To start, consider the following marketing insights and pieces of advice from Godin that speak particularly well to the recruitment industry.
“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”
Thanks to social media tools and increasingly sophisticated recruitment technology, there are so many new ways to market your opportunities. Of course, taking advantage of these tools and techniques means change, and change is always either scary or difficult — or both. In an increasingly competitive market for talent, however, sticking with the status quo will no longer suffice. Recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals need to step outside of their comfort zones and ask themselves, “What can we do that’s different?” and be willing to try something new. Because you may not be willing to embrace new technology, but your competitors certainly are.
“Marketing is telling a story about your value that resonates enough with people that they want to give you money.”
What’s your employee value proposition? More importantly, are you communicating this clearly to candidates? While you’re not asking for candidates’ money (hopefully), you are asking them to invest in your company. So what are you offering them? What will they get out of working with your company? The more clearly you are able to communicate your value as an employer — through social media, on your career site, in job postings — the easier it will be to “sell” your story and get candidates excited about working for you.
“It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.”
Treating customers well is the ultimate competitive advantage. Not only are consumers more loyal to brands they feel care about them as people — not just customers — they are more likely to talk about their experiences with friends and on social media. Likewise, candidates who have a positive experience with your company during the recruitment process are more likely to re-apply, do business with that company and tell others about the experience. Simply put: When you treat your candidates well, they tend to return the favor.
“Be in the business not of getting customers, but of writing a novel, telling a story, connecting with people that want to be connected to.”
Be honest about who you are as a company and what your culture is. Survey employees, candidates and key stakeholders to identify your employment brand for what it is, instead of what you think it is. Once you can tell the story of your company in an honest and authentic way, candidates who are a good fit will find their way to you (and those who aren’t will weed themselves out).
“Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumer’s problem in thirty seconds.”
Recruitment isn’t always just about driving applications. It’s about building relationships with candidates. While it’s great if a candidate comes to your career site and applies to a job right away, what about those candidates who are interested in your company, but aren’t the right fit right now? They could be great candidates down the line, so you need to keep them from slipping away by keeping them engaged in the recruitment process. Invite them to join your talent network so you can re-engage them over time. Create a positive candidate experience so they will not only want to apply to future opportunities, but they will also tell others about it, which will strengthen your employment brand.