Think like a consumer marketer
Led by business-to-business companies, marketing has made a significant shift in recent years to focus on story-telling and curated content that helps enhance customers’ lives. Employer brand managers and talent acquisition professionals must make a similar transition by taking real-life stories about successful, engaged employees and sharing them with candidates through a variety of channels. This includes social media, which can be used as a platform to not only tell those compelling stories, but enables them to be shared with a much wider audience.
They must also, as marketers do, constantly measure the impact of their messages and their channels—and course correct as necessary.
Reinvent the way you interact with candidates
Look for ways to improve the candidate experience throughout the talent acquisition process. Create convenient, personalised experiences every step of the way – not just when you’re trying to build a talent pool for a particular position.
Reach out to candidates wherever they ‘live’ – including online and offline. Leverage social and mobile technologies. Add value to their lives, whether they’re active or passive candidates.
Base your process on the candidate experience
Recruitment processes are often quite dull and linear, so making them engaging can be a challenge. Start first by mapping out the ideal candidate experience and alter your process to facilitate the experience. Look at your competitor’s candidate experience and learn what you should avoid or co-opt.
Get insight into your audience
Never assume you know your audience. Consumer marketers go into a great amount of detail to understand their consumers by creating fictional personas – a hypothetical group of customers that identify patterns of behaviour, goals, skills, attitudes.
In recruitment, we have vast amounts of data at our fingertips (about candidates, performance metrics and the markets within which we recruit) yet we don’t use it effectively to build candidates profiles and ideal personas.
Implement consistently across all touchpoints
Candidates are not one-size-fits-all. Some prefer to be contacted by phone, while others prefer email. Ensure that all of your communications are impeccable regardless of how they’re delivered. It’s also important to deliver a consistent experience at every stage of the candidate experience.
Candidates should feel just as special on the day they begin their new job as they did on the day they had their first interview with the hiring manager, or on the day they received their job offer.
Be consistent and your employer brand will be seen as authentic, not artificial.
Improvements can’t be made if there are no metrics in place to compare progress. Consider measuring candidate experiences using a measure like the Net Promoter Score. Ask qualitative questions of candidates once they have completed the process: What did they enjoy most? What was most frustrating? Why did they apply in the first place?
Track your performance over time and constantly look for opportunities to improve.
Communicate throughout the process
If you do a phone screen, give the candidate some honest feedback. If a candidate comes to your careers site, acknowledge the visit with an email explaining your hiring process, or a video that espouses your company’s values. Technology is now available to make these steps easy. There’s no reason not to do it.
Think like a candidate
Another timeless reminder: treat others as you’d like to be treated. This Golden Rule is especially important if you want to ensure every candidate has a positive experience.
Be a person first, and an HR manager or recruiter second
People want to deal with people. Make your hiring process as personal as you can. You’re not a robot and neither are your candidates – yet!
This is part of the communications process but it deserves special attention. Don’t leave people wondering where they are in the process, or if they’ve been disqualified. Let them know what your process is, when they can expect to hear back, and how quickly you’re planning to make a decision.
The candidate experience is a two way street
It’s vital to remember that today’s candidates are assessing you as a potential employer as much as you’re assessing them as a potential employee. As much as they present themselves in a way that makes them attractive to you, it’s important that you put your best foot forward as well.
Make sure your candidate experience is a positive one. Emphasise your brand’s values and what makes you a great place to work, and ensure that the experience is consistently positive. It’s easier to maintain a good reputation than it is to rebuild one.
We believe employer brands come to life throughout the talent acquisition process. They come to life through careers websites and social media campaigns. They come to life in your advertising. And critically, they come to life through the conversations that your talent acquisition team has with every single candidate. Employer brands live or die at every stage of the candidate lifecycle – but with the right strategies in place, they can be a powerful path to building a top-performing workforce.