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Boosting employer brand recognition is a challenge – let alone identifying the metrics that show that your recruitment efforts are paying off.

In our most recent webinar, we were lucky to have Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager at ABB USA, join us to discuss how his team leverages Avature CRM to develop its employer brand, measure recruiting efforts, and deliver key metrics to stakeholders.

As a global engineering company headquartered in Switzerland, ABB has 135,000 employees worldwide with offices in over 100 countries. Although ABB is well known in Europe, the global company found that one of the main challenges it faced in the U.S. market was a lack of a strong employer brand awareness.

When Fowles joined the company, he began to increase ABB’s employer branding efforts in the region. In order to accomplish this, his team needed to be able to measure their activity and demonstrate what success really looked like for ABB. In an extremely competitive talent market, ABB needed to be able to track and benchmark against its competition, especially in the war for engineering talent.

Defining success

Success to us might not be the same for your organization. We took a look at what success meant to us. That involves some bench marking – what were some of the metrics we could design that would make sense for us. Whether it be for an overall branding campaign or year-after-year hiring goals, we wanted to be able to go back to our C-level executives and demonstrate that our strategies are working.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA

Leveraging email campaigns

With a clearer idea of the benchmarks they needed to use, and with a goal to improve the company’s employer brand, ABB began working on the message communicated to candidates.

According to Fowles, “When you are not getting the same recognition in your region, you really have to look at, ‘How am I going to interest candidates and engage with them?’ For us it had to be very visual and digital.”

The company began creating email templates and campaigns within Avature, to introduce and welcome candidates using consistent branding, embedded videos, and personalized languages.

To measure the success of each email campaign, ABB could measure how candidates entered the talent networks and moved forward. Email campaign metrics – such as the rates of open, click through, bounce, and unsubscribe – also help their recruiters think more like salespeople and marketers.

Saving time with talent networks

ABB uses its talent portal, designed with Avature, to encourage candidates to submit their basic information using very few obligatory fields. Ease of application is absolutely critical to attracting talent, according to Fowles.

For us, the candidates’ time is so important. … We wanted to keep it very short. I like to think of our talent portal as exchanging a business card. We try to keep it extremely short, user-friendly and mobile.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA

Once candidates submit their information, ABB sends an automatically triggered email inviting them to submit their CV or learn more about the company in a tailored career site.

Given the increasingly social way that candidates search for jobs and interact with employers, social media links on the career site also encourage candidates to engage with ABB on LinkedIn and Facebook. ABB created the Life At ABB page in Linkedin, which is a great way to reinforce employer branding.

More and more candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your company, what the culture is like, what are the stories your employees are telling.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA

Using tailored reports to measure efforts

To measure employer branding efforts, ABB uses recruitment marketing dashboards that are configured by a user’s role to include built-in or tailored custom reports.

During our live webinar, Lina Hölker demonstrated how the reports give ABB a clear overview of the conversion pipeline. The reports show a time frame and quantity of talent portal visits, registrations, and applications, all the way to hire. Measurements of conversion sources allow the recruiting team to evaluate the best channels for reaching candidates. These Avature reports also track how many candidates convert to offers and hires.

Evaluate recruiter team performance

Because recruiting is a fluid activity that requires engaging with leads, ABB documents the amount of daily phone screens that recruiters make.

Phone screening is like baseball and batting practice: we need recruiters to take their swings every day, to enable them to get their hits and home runs every day.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA

The company also ensures recruiters talk to the right people. Because the company has to fill critical positions, recruiters must contact highly skilled individuals. Recruiters keep track of how many candidates they submit for interviews, either face-to-face or over the phone.

To ensure a high-quality candidate experience, ABB sends out a survey to candidates after the phone screen. The survey asks about the hiring manager’s questions and candidates’ overall satisfaction with the recruiting process.

The people record function in Avature keeps track of each candidate’s history, survey results, and their step in the process. This increased transparency allows recruiters and stakeholders to really understand what they are doing well and where they need to improve.

We are so lucky to have tools like in Avature to help us capture this information. Here we are today in real time, our recruiters can document their work, and I as a manager can review and look at that work in real time.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA

Determining the quality of hire

ABB tracks the caliber of new employees primarily through the hiring manager satisfaction – a top metric for quality of hire according to Fowles. According to the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2016 Report, most companies measure the quality of hire using the feedback methodology or long-term methodology:

  • 50 percent through new hire performance evaluations
  • 49 percent through turnover or retention statistics
  • 43 percent through hiring manager satisfaction

Fowles said that he and his team primarily focus on hiring manager satisfaction because various factors contribute to how new hires perform or how long they stay. Fowles feels that the hiring manager satisfaction provides “genuine, real-time feedback if recruiters are submitting the right candidates.”

After each hire, a recruiter sends the hiring manager a short survey in Avature, focusing on five key pillars of the recruiting process, two of those being the quality of the candidate, and hiring satisfaction. The talent acquisition department in ABB has used this method for about three years with great results this past year: a 48 percent response rate with an 83 percent satisfaction score, far above industry averages.

For us, this was a key metric that we could take to our executives, and say look this is the feedback we are getting about the quality of the hires submitted.”

Bill Fowles, Talent Acquisition Manager, ABB USA


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