Posts Tagged ‘recruitment’

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

    Employee Voice and Employer Brand

  • March 8th, 2017 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    The Power of All-Way Brand Alignment

    (The following is excerpted from our published white paper, The Power of All-Way Brand Alignment.)

    The worlds of consumer and talent engagement are changing, due in large part to what we call consumer-driven communications. It’s the state of communications behavior where every notion is digitally searched, researched and reviewed within minutes. And, it’s where brand impressions are formed and solidified.

    The point is that this behavior isn’t confined by distinct areas of investigation. Whether we are looking for a new car, the menu of that hot new restaurant, or a new job, our communication behavior is the same. And, as we are investigating every notion in this way, we create heightened experience expectations. We have brand allegiance to those experiences we like; we quickly move-on from those we don’t.

    But, we want to take it a step further. The implication that people approach interest investigation in a consumer way is much more than just making sure that the careers site is as cool as the commercial site; it represents the blurring the lines between external brand and employer brand experiences.

    We see the opportunity for organizations to create a branding platform where the brand is “lived” by employees, future employees and customers. Employees who live their organization’s brand tend to be highly engaged. Organizations can leverage these high engagement levels to create better and longer-lasting customer relationships. Those opportunities can be found by aligning your external and employer brands. And it all starts with your employee value proposition. Here’s our All-Way Brand Alignment methodology. Click here to download the full white paper.

  • 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.

  • November 28th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    The Power of Purpose-Driven Employer Branding

    Quick Look

    • All generations of the workforce are looking to connect in a deeper, more meaningful way with their employers.
    • Candidates’ need for purpose-driven connection to companies is a trend that will grow and continue.
    • Individuals will connect when there is alignment between their own values and a company’s values.
    • This puts pressure on a company to define and articulate its culture, mission and values through its employer brand.
    • Those organizations who do align purpose-driven messaging and their employer brand will stand out in a crowded consumer-driven communications marketplace.

    The availability of qualified candidates in all labor sectors is growing more competitive. Employers are seeking more focused and effective methods to increase their talent success. One current approach, connecting candidates and employees to career meaning, is demonstrating its power to:

    • Attract top-performing job candidates and build employee engagement with greater efficiency;
    • Endear high-value talent audiences more strongly to organizations;
    • Increase employee retention and decrease hiring costs; and
    • Improve overall business profitability.

    It is universal: people are always searching for deeper meaning, for a closer sense of “fit” in all aspects of their life. This is especially true when it comes to careers.

    Research shows that Millennials (today’s most active hiring audience) are drawn to companies that match their own values, whether this match is found in the products a company produces, the customer it touches, the culture it espouses, the societal commitment to ‘give something back,’ or any combination of these. Baby Boomers and Gen Yers are also valuing meaningful career connectedness. As they age they are changing their priorities and being drawn more strongly to purpose-focused employers.

    In short, it is more important than ever for employers to speak to purpose-seeking individuals in their recruiting and engagement practices.


    White Paper: Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand. Click here.

    Webinar Replay: Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand. Click here.

    Webinar Presentation: Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand. Click here.

  • September 27th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    What Is a Purpose-Driven Company?

    In October, we will be talking a lot about purpose and employer branding. I will be facilitating a webinar  on the topic. We will be publishing a position paper, Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand, as well as related blog entries. Finally, I hope that we can engage in a conversation about your company’s purpose and ways to infuse it into your employer branding efforts. But, let’s first define what we mean by a purpose-driven company.

    We think the purpose-driven company is one where a company’s purpose is a core driver of strategy and decision-making. The purpose-driven company rallies its people around a purpose or mission. The purpose-driven company stands for something.

    In the past, we might have thought of the purpose-driven company as being tied to a humanitarian purpose like “being green” or corporate sustainability. We think, however, that purpose, at least within the context of recruitment, employer brand and internal communications messaging, has evolved.

    Thus, we think more broadly about what constitutes purpose-driven messaging. We are thinking of companies like EY. The global professional services firm has undergone a purpose-led transformation culminating in a new organizational, and employer branding, platform: “build a better working world.” EY applies its purpose to engage their people to achieve higher levels of business performance for their clients and themselves. The employer branding implications and opportunities, as showcased by EY’s transformation, are dramatic. In EY’s case, we clearly see that connecting purpose to employer brand makes the employer brand stronger. (Click to see EY’s Brand Guidelines)

    It is our hope that our conversation on purpose will challenge, inspire and prompt you to think about your organization’s purpose and its connection to your people and your employer brand, wherever you may be in your purpose-journey.

    It’s also my hope that you will challenge us as well. Read our upcoming position paper and blog pieces. Attend our free webinar on October 25th. But, as you do, please challenge us with your questions and reactions to the ideas presented in this conversation. Share your perspectives on the role of purpose in your organization and your organization’s employer brand. We will all be stronger for it.


    Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand webinar replay: Click here. Webinar presentation: Click here.  White paper: Click here.

  • April 11th, 2016 Posted by Dan Stech

    Are You Letting Your Employer Brand Breathe?

    As an HR professional, you will likely ‘experience’ your employer brand an average of 6-9 times before even one single job candidate or internal employee sees it. It’s easy to develop ‘creative fatigue’ too soon when it comes to the public implementation of your employer brand. This is something we all (HR and agency folks alike) should avoid.

    If you engage a recruitment marketing agency to discover and develop your brand, here’s how the math will likely go:

    Brand Experience #1

    Your agency implements creative discovery methods (surveys, focus groups, etc.) to establish the data upon which your brand will be built.

    Brand Experiences #2 through #4

    Next, an employer brand promise, employer brand attributes and Employee Value Proposition is proposed that encapsulates the essence of your brand promise. The EVP language is refined and finalized.

    Brand Experiences #5 through #8

    Your agency’s creative department develops the brand through different copy and concept choices; a single concept is chosen; creative changes are made; a final creative platform is born.

    Brand Experience #9

    The brand creative is implemented in various media according to a planned strategy and pushed out — for the first time — to external and internal audiences.

    What’s the takeaway here?

    Your employer brand needs more time to run than you think. Its internal development period shouldn’t count. You’ve invested precious resources into discovering and creating your true, authentic brand. Let it work for you!!

    What if the De Beers Diamond Company abandoned its slogan “A diamond is forever” for something catchier before it was time? De Beers is the messaging gold standard (OK, diamond standard) in its industry, running its brand theme for generations and consistently relying on simple black-and-white advertisements. Or, what if Coke updated its universally recognized red and white color pallet after one year because the next season’s trending colors were teal and orange?

    Employer brands are living, breathing entities.

    Let’s give them time and space to go through the stages of any key messaging campaign. With a nod to the Yale Model of Persuasive Communication, these are:

    • Presentation/Introduction
    • Attention/Awareness
    • Understanding/Acceptance
    • Traction/Audience Participation
    • Sustained/Growing Momentum
    • Iconic Status/Perception of Permanence

    Of course, your employer brand may be strategically tweaked and/or refreshed when needed. Any sound recruitment marketing agency will monitor the performance of your brand and make appropriate adjustments. An update may also be considered if you have undergone a major organizational change that directly alters your employment proposition.

    • What will and should remain the same?
    • Is the authentic story behind your brand? 
    • How it distinguishes your organization’s vision, values, culture, mission, and employment experience?

    So, how long should an employer brand campaign run?

    The definitive answer is: it depends. Every company and situation is different. What I know is that employer brands shouldn’t be pulled too early. The distinctive employment promise you deliver…the story of what you stand for…of how you are different than all other companies in your hiring and engagement space…deserves to be told and celebrated. It deserves its due time.

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

  • 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?

  • February 18th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Why We Like Glassdoor. And Why You Should Too.

    Your job candidates find it indispensable. Your employees make it their routine. Even your vendors and your competitors frequent it. We’re talking about Glassdoor, the unique employment review and rating site that is everywhere.

    Launched in 2008, Glassdoor is THE online destination for employees to anonymously review their companies and to post data and comments about topics such as salaries, workplace culture, and senior management leadership.

    Here’s why it’s important to embrace sites like Glassdoor. Top talent – from the most qualified candidates to high-performing employees – is using review sites to form and validate their beliefs about employers.

    Candid Glassdoor reviews are good, aren’t they?

    It’s unmistakable. Glassdoor brings more transparency to the employment space than ever before. But with that transparency can come some angst and anxiety for HR pros and talent execs. Organizations often have the same questions: “What if my company is not well rated?’ “What are my current employees going to talk about? What if someone says something bad about our company?

    These are legitimate concerns. Most importantly, they are questions that can lead to powerful opportunities.

    3 things you can do now to make Glassdoor a positive for your company

    Create a profile.
    Be proactive. Take control of your presence on Glassdoor by developing your own company profile. Having a strong presence on the site shows job seekers and employees that you welcome open communication.

    Set the stage for positive reviews.

    If employees view a third party website as a primary outlet for airing their concerns, they will use that outlet. The result? A company’s Glassdoor reviews may be a mixed bag. Let’s be clear: negative reviews are now a fact of digital life.

    The key is to understand that it’s not about managing the negative review but, rather, about creating a balance. There’s a good chance that many companies with predominantly negative reviews (and thus low rankings) are actually great places to work, but the “dissenters” are dominating the conversation. In those cases, it’s important for the company to find ways to engage all perspectives to share.

    The goal is to attain a balance between negative and positive reviews. Set the stage for sharing by encouraging workers to contribute their experiences to Glassdoor. Enlist managers to spread the word and reassure that it’s okay to share honest feedback. Target the “every day” stories of workers and their peers over senior level executives as they are a more trusted and credible source. (Eldeman Trust Barometer 2016)

    Tell your side of the story.
    The usual inclination of companies who encounter negative online feedback is to ignore it and hope no one sees it. Well, in today’s world, people are going to see it. In this case, the best defense is a strong offense. Acknowledge and respond to the negative review in a genuine and caring way. You may respond by mentioning initiatives that your company is establishing to improve the situation. Merely thanking the reviewer for bringing the problem to your attention is better than no response at all.

    A full 69% of Glassdoor users said their perception of a company improved after seeing a company respond to a review, according to a recent Glassdoor survey.

    Glassdoor: open it wider and make it a powerful resource

    Why do we believe you should embrace all of this? Because we believe that authenticity is the new paradigm of employer brand communication. Your employer brand exists and it’s out there for the world to see and experience. Maybe, in the past, you’ve not considered your employer brand as something that you had to actively manage, but now — because of the transparency of review sites like Glassdoor — it is front and center.

    Platforms like Glassdoor present a simple question: will you actively manage how people see you, or will let others manage that perception?

    Ways to get started

    Here are a couple of ways to get started in your Glassdoor journey.

    1. Audit your Glassdoor page. Review key statistics as presented by your page and compare those stats to those of your competitors.
    2. As a part of your audit, read carefully current employee reviews. Reflect as to how accurate those reviews are. And, compare those reviews to other engagement data you may have on hand. Note the gaps.
    3. Create a plan for engagement on Glassdoor. As a part of this plan, develop specific goals, each containing a measurement mechanism.
    4. Finally, understand that it takes time to improve your Glassdoor page. Therefore, make sure that you incorporate a longer-term planning and implementation schedule into your approach.

    Glassdoor has much to offer. The strategy is to become an active member of the community. Contribute to the conversations. Use the site to not only monitor the impact of your employer brand in real time, but to enhance it based on what your target recruiting audience is talking about most.

  • 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.