Employer Branding for Talent Acquisition
- 1.5 hours on-demand video
- 4 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Build an effective employer branding strategy that focuses on ROI.
- Understand modern candidate behaviors, and how employer branding plays a role in attracting/converting the right people
- A toolset that you can use to start building your brand today
- You should already be familiar with basic concepts around talent acquisition
- Have a basic understanding of how consumers and job seekers do research online
Recruiting is becoming more like marketing each day. Talent acquisition teams now need to have a strategy for everything from video to SEO to social media, or else risk getting left behind.
More than that, individuals must learn about these new trends in the recruiting space or risk having their own careers stagnate.
This course is first and foremost for HR and talent acquisition professionals who want to master employer branding in order to help their organizations attract the best talent, and to propel their own careers.
In this course, we'll cover why employer branding matters in the age of transparency, how organizations can build their brands both with large and small budgets, and how to track the effectiveness of your employer branding efforts.
- HR and talent acquisition professionals who want to learn more about employer branding and how to enhance their company's talent brand.
- Marketing professionals who are looking to support their HR teams in building the employer brand
- C-level executives who want ta better understanding of employer branding, and how their organization should be leveraging this concept to attract the best talent
We've talked to a few hundred people in HR, Marketing, Talent, etc about employer branding. This course will encapsulate the knowledge that we've gained from the companies who are truly on the bleeding edge.
This topic has become so important because job seekers are acting more like consumers: doing research before making a "purchasing decision" - applying for a job.
The companies, and individual professionals, who gain an understanding of these concepts will reap the benefits.
Within this course we're going to talk about strategy, tactics, and ROI related to employer branding and recruitment marketing.
Creating a thoughtful plan with 1-2 key initiatives, and ways to measure the results of these projects is the first step.
The number one rule here is to measure your results. The EB leaders who get more budget next year are the ones who give their CFO confidence in the return on investment by measuring what's important to a give project. Of course, it's up to the practitioner to decide what is the overall goal.
For example, with a new careers page, perhaps the right metrics are:
- Higher conversion rate of visitor to applicant which implies better content and a better experience
- Higher time on site which implies a more interesting experience
- Lower bounce rate which implies a better UX
- Higher quality applicants which implies better people were CONVINCED to apply for a job
While some of these metrics are hard to turn into dollars and cents, others can be directly (if conversion rate increases, our cost/applicant decreases, which saves us money). Furthermore, the other metrics are important even if they can't be directly tied back to ROI. We may see a lower cost if time on site increases, and we may find retention increases if our quality of applicant is higher, for example.
Candidates research your company for nearly 2 hours on average before applying for a job.
Do you know what your candidates are looking at, for how long, and over what time period? Start with asking your current employees about their candidate journeys in focus groups. Here are some questions you can start with:
- Where did you hear about our company?
- What drew you to our company in the first place?
- What convinced you to apply for the job?
Your current and future candidates are also great places to gain valuable information. Start sending out a survey at the end of the application process asking questions like:
- What resources did you use to research our company?
- Where did you learn the most about us?
- Why did you apply for this job?
- What information did you wish you'd known before applying?
Check out the resources in this lecture for a link to the TalentBoard.org's annual candidate survey which has tons of data on candidate behavior. The most surprising thing to us was that the number one place candidates research your company is on your careers page, which means employers have an incredible opportunity to tell their story through a medium that they own, and can track rigorously with analytics.
Every eCommerce website in the world has landing pages for different products. These pages share the key value propositions to customers, and feature reviews, pictures, and videos. The analog to recruiting is probably obvious: we're all trying to share information about our departments, offices, and jobs. So, it stands to reason that we should have microsites for each of the key areas within our company.
In fact, many companies are starting to adopt this strategy within their careers site. Microsites are an amazing way to share culture, convince top talent that this is the right place for them, and allow people who aren't a good fit to opt out.
While using microsites in our strategy is intuitive, there should also be a more robust analytical understanding of why microsites are important to our talent acquisition strategy. With that in mind, we dug into the data behind some of the career sites that NextWave Hire powers in order to understand the impact of microsites on candidate behavior.
Any information generated by your employees about working at your company is an important asset in your fight for the best talent. This can take the form of an employee blog, a glassdoor review, Instagram post, etc.
Your employees are trusted, and they also have all the content that candidates care about the most.
Review sites are a very important part of the candidate journey, and nearly every job seeker will check out your profile on at least one of these sites before and during the application process.
It's important to put forth the effort to make sure your employees are leaving reviews, and to respond to negative reviews.
These platforms can also be useful means to source talent. However, it's unclear if paying for a sponsored profile on one of these sites increases your overall employer brand. This is why we suggest viewing this spend just like you'd view the spend on any other job board. Unless, of course, you can see a meaningful impact on your conversion rates of job seeker to applicant, or applicant to hire.
Content is at the heart of employer branding. It can also be very expensive to put together with a 90 second culture video running anywhere from $7-15k.
Luckily, we all have amazingly powerful cameras in our pockets (hello, iPhone), and can also hire copywriters on platforms like UpWork for very cheap.
Your employees are great sources of content as well. Make sure to ask very specific prompts when recording videos or asking for written responses. You can collect these, and then post them to social, your careers page, etc using the embed functions on social platforms, or a video platform like Youtube.
If you're just starting out and have some free time + creativity, there's no reason why you can't generate a swatch of content by yourself very cheaply, if not for free.
Video is a great way to communicate culture and EVP. However, most of the time it falls flat due to inauthentic content, and overly produced c-level executives promising an "innovative culture".
Avoid the pitfalls by scaling your video efforts with in depth and honest content that goes into the weeds on various roles.
What Is It
The unemployment rate in the US right now is 4.1%. That's low! Plus, in many geographies, and for many types of talent, the rate is basically zero. Another trend is that job seekers are becoming more and more like consumers. They are building a relationship with brands over long periods of time, and doing extensive
With these two factors in mind, many People Operations teams are starting to think about how they can effectively pipeline talent, and this is where Talent Communities come into play. Talent communities are incredible ways of driving more quality candidates into your hiring funnel. They are the perfect way to grab the information of people who are not quite ready to apply for a job, but still interested in your company.
Who Joins Them
The most exciting part of these pipelines is the QUALITY of candidates who are opting in.
Think about the mentality of someone who signs up for a talent community. They are saying "I'm not in the job market now, but will be in 6-24 months, so better start thinking about the next move in my career." This is the thoughtful type of person we all want to hire.
Beyond the common trait of "I'm going to be thoughtful about what's next in my career," these candidates are also not ready to apply: Some aren't because they are students, and others aren't because they have been at the same job for 5 years and aren't ready to make the jump.
After doing a lot of digging into our customers' talent communities, we've developed 3 main personas: the student, the newly hired, and the veteran. Some may call these "passive" candidates, but we wanted to see more granularity behind who was actually in here.
How to Engage
The majority of talent communities are under managed, and therefore are not delivering on the ROI they should be. Unfortunately, the time and expertise it takes to actively engage a talent pipeline means that these databases sit stagnant. In fact, Smashfly finds that only 5% of the Fortune 500 send content to their talent communities. That's up from 1% last year....but still not great!
Here are a few best practices to engage your talent communities:
- Automate - The reason most talent communities fail is that it's overwhelming to share new content each month with these people. Who has time for that? Not the typical overworked and under-resourced HR person. That's why it's important to setup an automated talent community that you can leave in "set it and forget it" mode. To do this, invest upfront in creating structured campaigns for various personas that will drop into your talent community.
- Segment- In order to drive ROI, you need to drive engagement. In order to drive engagement, you need to send segmented content that relates to each persona you're contacting. What I mean is, engineers want to learn about your tech stack and sales people want to know why customers buy your product. And, there isn't a ton of overlap in what they both want to hear about.
- Target- Once you have a large talent community database, you should get in there and source. This is generally a very high quality pool of talent that already has a relationship with your company. Send them an email if there's a relevant req open!
Facebook is the world's largest social network. In fact, users spend 50 minutes a day on the site in the US, versus 2 minutes on LinkedIn! That's pretty incredible.
We were wondering, is Facebook a fertile ground to hire people? Interestingly, 1 in 4 people have already used the site to search for a job.
It makes sense that companies could market jobs to potential hires via Facebook, just like they market everything else. The one caveat is that many people cruising Facebook don't have a resume handy. Of course, this is easy handled by not asking for a resume when you drive someone to a landing page.
The Data Says Yes
Luckily, we were able to get our hands on some data which proved that Facebook is a great place to find people. While this is an idiosyncratic case study (European based job, low-skill work), our data source found they could hire people for 47 Euros via Facebook. That's cheap! And, this included all the other costs they needed to vet candidates - they only spent 800 Euros on this campaign which netted them 258 hires!
We've also heard anecdotal evidence that US based companies have been hiring higher skilled workers for cheap money via Facebook ads. Unfortunately, none of the companies had the data at the ready to back it up (please let us know if you have some!!).
Social media is important for two main reasons:
- Candidates will research your company's social media channels before and during the application process and having the right content here means your conversion rates increase.
- Social is a great way to capture new applicants, especially if your company already has a reach on a few platforms.
If you're like most companies, your social media is dominated by materials from marketing that are focused on your product or service. This may even be the case for your LinkedIn page. So, the first step here is to generate content that you can share via social.
The second step is choosing 1-2 social networks that you want to focus on. Perhaps it's LinkedIn + Twitter. If you have help, or budget to outsource this, then go wild and choose all the social networks. However, for most of us it makes sense to stay focused.
Look into getting a tool like Hootsuite/Buffer/Sprout. Chances are your marketing team already has one and you can add a seat to the license, which is very cheap. Using this platform, you can spend 45 mins at the beginning of the week adding new posts, and responding to old ones. Another tool we really like is Canva (also very cheap/free) where you can create beautiful, social native graphics fast. These graphics can really enhance the shareability of your content.
Ideally, you're checking your social every day. But, we know that you probably have all kinds of other things to do, and spending this 45 mins/week is MUCH better than doing nothing.
The metrics in your social media platform of choice will give you a high level understanding on what's going on and how well you're doing. You should absolutely track impressions, followers, and clicks. Ideally, you're tracking those clicks from the social platform all the way through to hire. However, this can be complex without a sophisticated and automated recruitment marketing platform.
Analytics allow us to be smart about the effectiveness of our various efforts, and to get more resources to pursue the projects we want.
For example: do you know where your best converting traffic is coming from? How much are you paying for each click, conversion, hire? Where is your worst traffic coming from? What are you paying for each click, conversion, hire? How much are you paying to wade through bad resumes?
This is the level of insight that a modern recruiting function has to have in order to effectively allocate resources and compete for talent.
Where does employer branding ROI come from? Mostly, it's from cost per hire, and increased retention.
Cost per hire comes from higher conversion rates of (quality) job seeker to applicant through better content, similar to how you're more likely to convert as a customer on a product page that has pictures/videos/specs than a non-mobile optimized page that says "Bike - $500."
Retention savings come from the right people joining the company with the right expectations about company culture and the job.
See the case studies and eBook to learn more about various ways EB drives ROI (lower salary, higher revenues). Also, see the attached spreadsheet for a quick calculation of the savings your company may look at.
For more specific projects, a unique ROI model should be built. The key focus should be time and money spent, and then a measure return in the form of decreased cost/applicant, increased retention, etc.
We just spend a good chunk of time going through the in's and out's of a talent community and how they are crucial in modern day recruiting. I can't remember a conversation I've had with someone in HR where I brought up the idea of building out talent communities and they weren't interested. But, the majority of people are having a hard time putting a value calculation around using this sort of talent acquisition strategy.
Talent Pipeline ROI
I think about this value in two ways. One, talent communities can help you save recruiting fees. If you hire someone from your talent community and they are in the bucket where you'd typically spend a fee - then there is your ROI.
Secondly, we can think about the talent community members much in the same way a marketer would think about a "lead." Marketers are willing to spend money on adwords, etc to drive leads because they know a certain percent of them will convert to customers, and be worth a certain amount of money each. If 10 leads translate into 1 customer worth $100 to me, then each lead is worth $10.
In TA, there is a certain thought process to follow: we spend money on our top of funnel (sourcing, Indeed PPC, etc) to drive applicants because we know that a certain number of these applicants will convert into hires, and a hire is worth our cost/hire for a given position. You can use this methodology to get to a very specific ROI from your talent community.
Many Talent Acquisition teams track Time To Fill across their departments and organizations. This term is defined as the time it takes to make a hire after posting a job. It's a key metric that allows teams to forecast hiring and plan more effectively to meet their goals.
It's also an incredible way to measure the return on investment drive by various changes to the talent acquisition tactics. For example, we may see a decrease in Time To Fill after implementing a Talent Community That said, it can also be difficult to translate changes in the Time To Fill into dollars and cents.
So, we wanted to tackle this problem and lay out the math. We were especially interested in clearing some issues up around how to think about the value an employee brings (revenue/employee for the organization is NOT the right way to think about this problem, sorry other people who've written about this). After understanding how to calculate Time to Fill, refer back to the ROI spreadsheet and try it!
Thank you for completing our Udemy course on Employer Branding. We have also include some useful tools in the resource section of this lecture. They include HROS that provide real life case studies that may be helpful to read and study, Twitter chat on Employer Branding, and introduction to Applicant Tracking Systems. As we continue to find great resources that we like, we will add them to this lecture.