A Quick Q&A on Recruitment Marketing

recruitment marketing questionsLast week, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking not once, but twice, about one of my favorite topics: recruitment marketing. The first was during a webinar sponsored by SmashFly that featured insights from Brandon Hall Group’s latest research on the matter, as well as how the components of high-performance recruitment marketing are having real impact on talent acquisition performance at CDW and Lockheed Martin.

The second was at a far more intimate event put together by my friend Craig Fisher at SXSW – TalentNet Interactive, where I joined Crystal Miller and Carrie Corbin to talk about employer brand management.

Both featured great conversations in and out of the presentations, but there were a few questions we weren’t able to answer – two of which were especially interesting. For the blog this week, I will attempt to answer them:

  1. How would you research internally the key contents to build an employee value proposition?

Employee value proposition, or EVP, is strongly tied to the paradigm shift in talent acquisition where talent attraction has become as important as talent sourcing in effective talent acquisition.

Our research in recruitment marketing underlines the role EVP plays in building a compelling and unique employer brand. In short, an organization’s ability to offer a strong EVP is an indication of its viability as an employer of choice. But as many can attest, building a clear and authentic EVP is no small undertaking. We have research planned on best practices in just that, but for now I’ll offer some thoughts on what not to do:

  • Don’t start by evaluating how your compensation model compares to other employers in your area. On that note, while it’s important to understand the role compensation plays in EVP, I find “competitive” benefits and pay are usually anything but competitive.
  • When identifying key contents of EVP, start with what’s unique about your organization – the culture, the people, the work, the industry, the location. When evaluating new opportunities, prospective employees don’t envision themselves in the day-to-day. Rather, they try to imagine what their lives would be like working in your organization – how joining your team would change their lives (their routine, their commute, their work/life balance, their quality of life).

Although the process of defining and building EVP offers an incredible opportunity to stand out from the crowd, it’s likely you’ll uncover some things that are less than flattering. To that, I say this: “No pain, no gain.” Any of our Excellence in Talent Acquisition award winners can tell you that.

  1. Is there a technical way to measure “source of influence”?

Now this is an interesting question – something I’ve wrestled with for some time. For context, my co-presenters from last week’s webinar (Marvin Smith of Lockheed Martin and Troy Heinritz of CDW) addressed the common practice of treating social media as a source of hire rather than a source of influence. While we’re hardly the first to make the distinction, questions like this tell me that the idea is finally gaining traction in the mainstream.

As I’ve said before, measurement is the key to high-performance everything – and social talent acquisition is no exception. The challenge, of course, is that capturing quantifiable data on how social influence impacts talent acquisition performance is incredibly difficult – especially without a dedicated system for just that. It’s not impossible, though. The most obvious example of the technical measurement of influence is employer brand sentiment.

We partnered with Glassdoor last year to dig into a specific component of influence: employer brand. The report, which can be downloaded here, identifies three primary categories of impact – including Volume & Exposure, Engagement, and Baseline Measures. By monitoring changes in each category, you can spot correlations – thus quantifying impact. To be sure, this requires a certain level of sophistication, but the most effective hiring organizations are already doing this. I think it’s only a matter of time before it’s more commonplace.

I’ve gotta say, I absolutely love both of these questions. They’re both seeking quantifiable information on two of the most complex components of high-performance talent acquisition strategy – and that tells me that the needle is moving in the right direction.  Or so an analyst can hope.

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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