By Stacey Piper
Spring in Washington is always so refreshing and somehow unexpected, bursting with surprises, despite the fact that I’ve experienced this seasonal cycle for more than 30 years living in Virginia. At the same time that humans are trying to adjust to the lost hour of sleep on the March equinox, nature is awakening with fervor. The bright yellow daffodils have already emerged in my yard, and the purple and orange crocuses aren’t far behind. Buds are forming on the dogwoods, and the many songbirds in my backyard are flitting about, seemingly heralding the promise of warmth and food with their tweets.
I turn my head back from the window to the somber, gray images of Ukraine, and the dichotomy of beauty and suffering tears at my heart. Some historians believe that war is also on a cycle. And the current “Great Resignation” in employment has its own cyclical trends based on the political and economic climate, which impacts the employer-employee relationship. Turnover rates haven’t been consistently measured across industries, but where the data exists in manufacturing (as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor), you see spikes in voluntary employee turnover in the 1920s and 1940s, presumably with men going to and returning from war. Is this the first time in which the mass workforce is choosing not to work when jobs are available?
Update—or Create—Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy
My first two blogs this year discussed talent brand and workplace culture in attracting and retaining talent during this period of exodus from traditional employment. In order to hire the right employees—those with both the necessary skills and a good cultural fit—employers have to reach the best applicants through hiring platforms and traditional recruitment practices. The intense competition to locate talent who want to work necessitates an acquisition funnel to find, engage with, and nurture applicants.
Your recruitment marketing strategy has many of the same elements as your sales and marketing strategy, along with the need for a comprehensive budget funded appropriately for the time, tactics, and talent pool.
- Define your employee value proposition. Top talent knows they have options. Make sure you can articulate (and back up) the benefits and value of your employer.
- Identify a diverse, targeted range of channels. Start by researching where your future hires are spending their time, then drive awareness of your company in these areas, digital and otherwise. You may be underutilizing Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for recruiting, but think beyond social networks to radio and podcasts. And go local by partnering at charity and sporting events and host events at professional associations and your offices.
- Leverage existing tools better. You’ve probably been doing search engine optimization and running pay-per-click ads on Google AdWords for years so make sure you review and refresh your content. Also ensure your brand messaging is current on your Careers site, and consider adding a chatbot to engage directly with prospects. Educate yourself on new or improved engagement tools on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job boards.
Try More Tactics
Changing times call for changing channels so don’t fall back on your old standbys. Paid social provides you with more reach and more metrics than you receive from traditional paid advertising.
- Career Pages: Spotlight your company culture and job opportunities on these custom pages of employee-created content that can be targeted to a specific job.
- Life/What We Do Pages: Update with stories and photos to provide an inside look at your organization using spotlight modules, leadership profiles, testimonials, and employee perspectives. You can also create a unique URL to make this page easier to reach directly in your marketing collateral.
- Indeed: Claiming your company page is the first step often missed by employers. Here candidates and employees can submit reviews and work happiness ratings. Marketers can post company announcements and workplace photos.
- Glassdoor: Get over your fear of Glassdoor reviews by taking charge of your profile and proactively responding to negative reviews. You can also select the review that appears on your home page so you can put your best foot forward. Marketers can add to the positioning by posting content that demonstrates a healthy workplace dynamic and showcases people.
- Facebook & Instagram: Albeit a crossover into personal lives, Facebook and Instagram job advertising give you insights into cultural fit. They also offer some of the most refined targeting among social platforms using Facebook Editor and each platform’s Ads Manager.
Partner with HR
Just as in sales and marketing, your recruitment funnel has measurable phases, from creating awareness, to converting to general interest in the employer, and finally to positioning a prospect for hiring consideration. Moving a prospect from one phase to the next is a critical step in courting for employment. Recruitment marketing should be a partnership with Human Resources so you can share and leverage talent metrics from your social channels to inform the work of recruiting stakeholders and the overall recruiting strategy.
Quality Over Quantity
A new day has dawned in talent acquisition, and a recruiting strategy is now part and parcel of being a competitive organization. Every employee is a building block in the success or failure of your mission. As Stephen J. Bowen wrote in Total Value Optimization: Transforming Your Global Supply Chain Into a Competitive Weapon, “Hiring should always be part of your long-term strategy, not a quick fix to an immediate problem.” Building your current and future organization requires an investment in your recruiting funnel so you find and attract the best talent.