I am often staggered by the imbalance between the huge amount of money, man hours and effort that is spent on marketing, branding and selling product compared to the same process for careers in many businesses.
Yes the easy answer is that there is a lot of talent to pick from just now but the best talent have a wide scope options for their career path and career partners. Generation Y particularly (and the Gen X talent who share the Gen Y career values of mobility, training, social conscience and career chapters of two years at a time) want to connect with an employer brand that they can relate to, trust and believe in.
The brutal truth is that your recruitment web-page, career fair presentation, advert in that grad magazine or flier must quickly create an engagement and must communicate the right messages to your target talent and this is where relying on having famous, elite or successful sales and product brand is not enough.
Employer Brand, Employer Value Proposition, Attraction Strategy...they all eventually merge into one simple question; What is it like to work here? And the challenge is whether we as employers can represent that answer honestly, clearly and attractively to those that will be asking it.
Short films of your staff telling their stories and enjoying their work embedded into your recruitment web-site will work brilliantly if done well – if done badly they can blow the hole deal – authenticity is key here. Show how it really is, not a saccharin rose tinted version because for one after 3 months your recruited talent will leave and you’ll have to start over!
Try augmenting your main brand with something specific to your employer brand – a strap line that compliments the main product / client brand but also retains an identity that can be communicated to the talent you need. The best company web-sites winning the NORA Awards each year have an energy, freshness and a genuine feel about them that succeeds in really engaging with their target talent. Social media means if you get it right then people will know about it very quickly!
Then once your chosen talent is in the door you start working even harder to prove that you can walk the talk and deliver on the promises you made in attracting them. Cost per head is important for sure but of all the recruitment metrics for me its the most short sighted; tenure, turnover and exit interview analysis tell you so much more in a period when candidates are very picky about who they associate their brand with, are happy to walk away if you don’t do your part of the bargain and can tell others in the most powerful way ever.
It is I guess really important to ensure that anything you do in this space you do with 100% commitment because the whole rounded, detailed, authentic and considered brand that you represent to the candidate world has to work, has to make sense and stand the ultimate test – someone joining you and work for you. Just as with your product brand there is no point saying that you make the best shoes in the world, comfortable, good looking and well made if they fall apart after a few miles of walking!
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