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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
Landing pages are a great way to engage and convert the right talent.
Think about the last time you went to Amazon.com. I bet there were prominently displayed relevant products right there for you. By giving you what you're looking for in less clicks, Amazon is increasing the likelihood of you having a good experience and converting into a customer.
Now, imagine you are a job seeker looking for a sales job. You google "sales at Acme Corp" and land on a microsite that is designed for sales people. It has information on the career path, sales cycle, how they celebrate the wins, etc. You're either going to 1) convert into a job applicant 2) enter into the talent community or 3) opt out because this isn't for you. These are all great scenarios for the team running talent acquisition. The scenario we just avoid was 4) leave the site not understanding why this is a good role never to return again.
Your landing pages should mirror the various roles within your company. The way I think about it is, what is the group of people a candidate would like to have lunch with to discuss the job? This could be a group of veterans, sales people, or people who work in the Cleveland office. Each of these groups should be a landing page that espouses the EVP of each relevant group.
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.
Talent communities are a great way to build warm pipelines of passive candidates. However, the companies who simply blast their followers with job postings can actually damage their brands.
Instead, companies need to focus on creating segmented content for each distinct group of potential employee, distribute the content to each group, and then use modern day lead scoring criteria (opens, clicks, time on site) to understand which candidates are ready to engage.
SEO has been talked about a lot recently in the HR/TA world. However, there are very few examples that I can find which highlight successful SEO campaigns, and I've even emailed a few of the vendors to ask very pointed questions about this. Crickets.
Indeed, Glassdoor and the like own the search results for most queries related to job seeking behavior. Type in "sales jobs Boston" to see what I mean. Their entire business is based around this. No offense, you're not going to beat a company like Indeed on SEO.
That said, there are a few queries you can own.
Overall, SEO should not be a focus for your EB efforts unless you have the ability to generate lots of content on a regular basis. That said, you need to satisfy #1 and #2 above. But, don't worry, that should be very easy to attain.
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.
Social media is important for two main reasons:
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.
Hi, my name is Phil.
I grew up in a small town south of Boston where I was kind of obsessed with winning a wrestling state championship.
Afterwards, I headed out to NYC for college, worked for a global venture capital firm, and then came back to Boston to get my MBA at Harvard Business School.
I'm a self taught programmer, and generally speaking love to learn and teach.
My goal is to take what I've learned as the founder of NextWave Hire and translate that into actionable information for HR and marketing professionals