Posts Tagged ‘hiring’

  • March 14th, 2017 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Employee Voice and Employer Brand

  • December 14th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Five 2016 Recruitment and Employer Brand Stats to Ignite 2017 Employer Brand Action

    Being deeply rooted in evidence-based recruitment marketing and employer branding, we love statistics. Often, we find inspiration through a statistic: the contemplation of what it’s really telling us and what actions it might prompt.

    Here are five statistics from this past year that inspire me as I think about the employer branding platforms we’ll create in 2017.

    Nearly half of all companies surveyed (48.9 percent) report they will increase spending on employer branding this year. (entelo 2017 Recruiting Trends Report)

    If there was ever a time to consider strengthening your employer brand, it might be now. Competition for talent is tough and it’s only going to get tougher especially as your talent competitors work to strengthen their employer brands. This statistic is direct: while you are contemplating spending more on your employer brand, you may already be losing competitive ground.

    The 2017 trends report published by recruitment software developer entelo also found that 50 percent of inbound applicants do not meet even the basic requirements for the roles they apply for. Smart talent acquisition professionals will focus their employer brand spending to attract better-fitting, higher quality candidates.

    69 percent of active job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. (Glassdoor, U.S. Site Survey, 2016)

    A strong employer brand not only attracts job seekers, it influences their behavior. A strong employer brand will, through inspiration and engagement, turn job seekers into job applicants. But, in today’s consumer-driven communications world, the experience expectations are high.

    We think of “actively managing” an employer brand as incorporating external branding principles and practices into your employer brand to ensure that people’s attention and interest are engaged from the start. This statistics helps to remind us that in 2017 we’ll need to up our employer brand game.

    75 percent of workers believe that work should have a deeper meaning than just bringing home the bacon. (Monster, 2016)

    We believe that the next evolution of employer branding is the infusion of mission, culture and values. Employer brands that get stuck in pretty pictures and empirical employment facts will not be able to compete for the talent that is looking to connect on a deeper level. This applies to all generations of the workforce. People are looking to connect with their work in a deeper and more meaningful way. They will favor employers whose mission, culture and values help them to do so. This notion is reinforced by Gallup’s finding that 83% of workers say that it is very important for them to believe that their life and work is meaningful and has a purpose.

    82 percent of survey respondents believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage. (Bersin by Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends, 2016)

    Validating our belief that understanding and communicating culture is the next employer brand frontier, this statistic highlighting the perspectives of CEOs and senior HR leaders tells us that infusing culture into employer branding is more than just a “nice to have”: it’s an imperative.

    Bersin also found that while culture is viewed as important, only 28 percent of survey respondents believe they understand their culture well. The study also notes that only 19 percent believe they have the “right culture.” Here’s where employer branding can help: a strong employer brand program – one that is rooted in understanding the organization’s culture through validation techniques like engagement surveys, focus groups and individual interviews – will provide an evidence-based telling of the organization’s culture.

    (For more on purpose and employer branding, please download our white paper Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand. Click here.)

    On average, companies on the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work list experience half of the voluntary turnover of their industry peers. (Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2016 Study)

    We know that there is a direct connection between trust, purpose and retention. Research shows that employees feel a great workplace is one where …

    • There is trust between employees and employer,
    • Employees take pride in their work, and
    • Employees enjoy the people they work with.

    Strong employer brands are made from everyday employee experiences. Trust, pride and work enjoyment are important everyday work attributes and, if viewed favorably, result in a workplace where people will stay longer. What makes this statistic powerful is that it combines the cultural framework found in every member of Fortune’s list with the ROI impact of reducing turnover.

    Those are five statistics that inspire me. Each facilitates thinking that can ignite the strengthening of your employer brand in 2017. Do you have any that inspire you? Please share.

  • October 25th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand

  • June 14th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Employer Branding in Transitions

  • March 7th, 2016 Posted by Dan Stech

    How ‘Creative’ Should Your Employer Brand Be?

    It’s an age-old question asked by hiring companies that are focused on capturing the imaginations of their target audiences. “How creative should our recruitment messaging be?” To be sure, employers want to stand out in their industry, especially in these times of changing labor pool demographics. So, is there a definitive answer to the creative question? Absolutely there is. (Kind of.)

    As referenced by my colleague, Bob Johnson in his recent webinar, the strongest employer brands reflect the authentic story of an organization’s employment experience. They key word here being ‘authentic.’ No matter what your employer brand looks like, sounds like, or feels like — it must be authentic to who you are as an employer and ideally, be aligned with your corporate brand. It has to capture your organization’s true character — what you stand for, your mission, your vision, and your values. Given these parameters, an employer can certainly be creative with its brand. How much is a matter of perspective.

    Here are some examples of decidedly creative employer brand messaging that works. The ads share a common thread. They are all relevant to the job vacancy, and they all portray a company that views its candidate audience as smart, talented, and highly valued.

    3 Ways to Quality Test Your Employer Brand’s Creativity

    Ask this (long) question.

    Will the creative idea work to meet the measures of an effective employer brand: motivate candidate response, increase hire rates, help lower cost-per-hire, build a positive reputation for your company, and assist with employee retention?

    Solicit input.

    Build consensus by testing the creative idea first. This can be accomplished through internal and external focus groups and opinion surveys.

    Trust the creative experts. (Yes, this is a selfish tip.)

    The creative professionals who are building your employer brand are experts. You wouldn’t have hired them if they were otherwise. Leverage their experience and proven decision making. They’ve taken all the key steps to build your brand. They’ve done the discovery to find your best employer attributes, developed your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and created the copy and imagery that define your messaging. If a creative approach doesn’t feel right to these experts, or if they express some concerns, listen to their counsel.

    In closing.

    All this may seem like a rail against groundbreaking creativity in employer branding. It’s absolutely not. Rather, it is a rail for creativity that is intelligent, well crafted and purposeful. If the ‘wild and out there’ creative idea for your employer messaging passes the quality test, by all means go for it!

    That’s my say. I’m sticking to it.

  • March 7th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Employer Brand: Rebrand, Refresh or Tweak?

  • December 8th, 2015 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Avoid Hiring Pickle with Solid Employer Branding

    Is it time for your recruiters to adopt the pickle principle? For the uninitiated, the pickle principle is the brainchild of former restaurant chain magnate Bob Farrell. It was his company’s signature for providing customer service that exceeds what’s expected – that “little something extra” that breeds a sense of brand loyalty.

    As the story goes, Farrell received a letter from a repeat customer who always asked for, and received, an extra pickle free of charge.  The customer was pleased until the day the restaurant tried to charge him for the extra pickle. The man then fired off an angry letter vowing not to return to the restaurant “if that’s the way you’re going to run it.”  After reading the missive, Farrell made things right. Not only did he regain the customer’s trust, but Farrell used the free pickle metaphor as a way to win lifelong customers.

    The concept behind the pickle principle has a direct application to recruitment. The impression you leave on candidates can last a lifetime – so be sure the experience is all it can be, from start to finish.  Just as consumers do, today’s job candidates associate a company’s recruiting practice with its branded products and services. In the era of always-on social media and websites like Glassdoor, unflattering portrayals about your recruitment experience live forever online, potentially hindering your ability to win topnotch talent in the future. Conversely, candidates who have a good recruiting experience are more likely to tell others, even if you don’t ultimately hire that person.

    Poor recruiting stunts your company’s growth. A study by CareerBuilder of 5,000 job seekers and 2,000 hiring managers reveals that recruiting needs to be more than a formulaic process, instead encompassing a host of issues that have direct bearing on your employer brand.

    Nearly 7 in 10 applicants said their experience during the application process strongly influences their decision to work for a company, yet most employers do a poor job of reciprocating a candidate’s interest.

    CareerBuilder found that 42 percent expect to hear from an employer after submitting their resumes and 41 percent expect feedback if they aren’t selected for the position. Fully 25 percent want to be informed why an employer declines to offer an interview.  Yet only 17 percent of employers notified people why they weren’t chosen, suggesting there is wide room for improvement – particularly since nearly 6 in 10 candidates still believe it is their responsibility to send a post-interview “thank you” letter or email.

    There is good reason to address this disconnect. CareerBuilder notes people will take a job with a lower salary if the employer brand has a solid reputation (83%), is highly rated by friends or colleagues (78%), created a great impression with its recruiting practices (77%), garners exceptional online reviews (73%) or generates positive press (69%).

    On the flip side, failure to do post-interview follow-up prompts 65 percent of applicants to avoid the company’s products and services, signaling the direct link between employer brand and revenue.  Talent acquisition Software-as-a-Service provider iCIMS has also found similar findings.

    Our view: put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and imagine how you would expect to be treated.  A sustainable employer brand transcends merely filling vacancies.  Time to fill may be the main course, but ongoing feedback and post-interview communication are the free pickles – they cost very little but do wonders to burnish your brand. When your employer brand is well-designed and consistently executed, candidates wind up with “something extra” that should, in the long run, help you avoid getting in a recruitment pickle.

    What to Do About It

    There are several things that can be done to strengthen your employer brand by aligning to consumer-driven branding. Here are just a few to consider.

    1. Develop an approach, or methodology, to strengthening your employer brand. Be sure, however, that your approach is deeply rooted in discovery as it’s critical to be authentic in employer brand development. You’ll find our approach to employer branding summary on this page. (see related links)
    2. Understand that there are different levels of working on your employer brand. You might be able to significantly improve your employer brand with a few simple tweaks. We’ve written a white paper on this topic. You’ll find it on this page. (see related links)
    3. Create a framework that encompasses all facets of your recruitment marketing program which will allow you to map out a course of action. Here’s ours. (see related links)
  • November 23rd, 2015 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Of Cupcakes and the Candidate Experience of Healthcare Workers

    Imagine that you are the owner of a cupcake shop. In addition to having a store with counter help, you also have a website where people can place their cupcake orders. Now imagine that you find out that a third of your customers are having a negative experience, either in-store or online. Further imagine that 88 percent of those with a negative experience will not recommend your cupcakes. As the shop’s owner, you might be a little alarmed.

    What does this have to do with the pressures of attracting and hiring healthcare talent? CareerBuilder recently published a report citing that 33 percent of healthcare employees had a negative experience when applying or interviewing for their jobs. We’ve seen other studies that placed that number a lot higher. The CareerBuilder study on healthcare workforce trends further reports that:

    • 88 percent of those with bad experiences are less likely to recommend that organization as a place to work;
    • 60 percent of job seekers quit an online application mid-process because it’s too long and/or too complex; and yet
    • 53 percent of employers think that long applications are good because they weed out unserious and untalented applicants.

    The Pressured Healthcare Hiring Environment

    Healthcare organizations might be able to “back-burner” candidate experience issues if they are still finding enough candidates in normal order. But, for many organizations the current pressure to find and hire healthcare talent is too high to allow for the potential of writing off a high percentage of candidates. From severe talent shortages to the need to staff new facilities, healthcare recruiters are working in pressured hiring environments that we haven’t seen for a long time. And, we’ve been doing this for a long time!

    Our recent project work has included working with healthcare systems needing to find and hire hundreds of workers within the time crunch of just a couple of months. Talent acquisition directors and recruiters are scrambling to set recruitment project goals, strategies and budgets; gather together multidisciplinary teams; and hit the talent market running in a cohesive and coordinated way. All, we might add, within the organizational constraint of tight recruitment budgets and no expansion of resources.

    Within this pressured recruiting environment, it is critical to worry about each and every candidate that enters your recruiting funnel. You’re working too hard to let a third or more of your candidates leave with a bad experience. By not addressing a poor candidate experience, you are putting additional pressure on an already pressured process.

    Just as every cupcake customer is valued by the cupcake shop owner, every candidate should be valued by those of us focused on attracting and hiring healthcare talent.

    What to Do About It

    There’s a lot that can be done to improve your candidate experience. We’ve published a few best practices that you can access here. Here are a couple of things you can do today to improve your candidate experience.

    1. Take the time to experience your candidate experience yourself. Look at your career site – site navigation, appealing and not-so-appealing elements of the site, and areas of distinction – as a candidate would. Apply for a job and see how easy or hard it is to start and complete the application. If you have a talent community, think about whether or not a current or future candidate would find value in being a part of that community. Finally, don’t forget to review your candidate experience through your mobile device.
    2. If you’re not already doing it, institute a candidate experience survey or interview process in your onboarding program. This will get you closer to “real time” feedback which will complement your personal investigation.
    3. Review your employer brand attributes and employment selling points with every member of your multidisciplinary recruiting team, including hiring managers. This will help you present a consistent and reinforced employment story to candidates.
  • October 27th, 2015 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Our View: A Great Example of Connecting Brand, Strategy and Metrics to Improve Recruitment Performance

    Recruitment and retention often are treated as separate and distinct disciplines in HR. This common misperception tends to undermine an organization’s best recruiting efforts, shifting the emphasis to filling immediate vacancies – often without considering how to keep the person you just spent months recruiting, hiring and training.  This misperception is exacerbated in healthcare, a fast-growing industry that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will generate nearly 16 million new jobs by 2022.

    To cope with this anticipated hiring surge, health systems are turning to interdisciplinary recruiting teams to improve their candidate sourcing. Each member of a recruitment team focuses on a different function within the process, such as: sketching out job descriptions, marketing the employer brand, screening resumes, conducting interviews, and helping new hires get acclimated (thus closing the loop between recruitment and retention).

    One notable example is the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, which encompasses a 565-bed medical-surgical facility, nationally ranked schools of medicine and nursing, and employs more than 180 physicians honored by Best Doctors Inc. Those accolades are built into UVA’s marketing and branding efforts aimed at landing top talent.

    One problem UVA needed to solve was an over-reliance on traveling nurses, coupled with a high number of staff vacancies. The Charlottesville, VA institution hired RPO provider Cielo to fine-tune its candidate experience, including the development of talent communities designed to boost awareness of UVA’s employer brand.

    The health system also is embracing long-term forecasting models to estimate the types and number of jobs it will need during the next several years. John Boswell, UVA Health Systems’ chief HR officer, told Healthcare Finance magazine:

    “We have to get good at forecasting what we need now, two years from now, five years from now. We need to be able to find the right people, at the proper time, in the right place.”

    UVA Health System tied its in-house branding to metrics-driven recruitment and a better recruitment experience for hiring managers. The payoff? During the first year of its recruiting partnership, UVA Health reportedly filled more than 350 positions, with an average time-to-fill of 64 days. The health system cut costs for traveling nursing contracts by nearly 75 percent, while boosting 90-day retention – widely considered the most vulnerable time period for new hires – by 94 percent.

    The UVA example illustrates something we see with our clients every day: employer branding takes a commitment to setting goals and following through. As we can see, connecting your branding, interdisciplinary recruiting team and metrics delivers new candidates while solving a critical retention issue.