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Putting Brand and Challenge at the Heart of Talent Acquisition

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I recently watched Laurie Padua from AlexanderMann present about a subject I love… branding and candidate experience. Whilst I won’t give away all her secrets, I do want to focus on one area of her presentation that I feel is very exciting for talent acquisition right now: Challenge!

As a Talent Acquisition leader, what are you doing to excite and inspire (challenge) people to join your organization?

When we give potential candidates the opportunity to experience employment brands before applying or even considering applying for a job, we are essentially challenging them to decide whether they feel they are the right fit or not for our organization. Through challenge, we trigger questions, questions give answers, answers mean engagement, and engagement inspires action.

In recruitment, the goal is not to attract everybody on the job market. The goal is to attract the right people who believe in what you believe and who embody who you are, and who are driven by the same purpose that drives your organization. Why? Because

People who don’t believe in what you believe work for your money.”

Simon Sinek

Finding those people is not an easy task, I know! But, when we give every opportunity for people to experience a little of what it’s like to work at our organizations, they act. Positively or not, they make that decision to hit “apply” or not, they chose our organization over the competition or not. But they do it based on a more thorough decision rather than a whim. And that makes the lives of recruiters and hiring managers easier, as the candidates that apply have already decided whether they feel they are a right fit, they are motivated and enthusiastic and so require less of a ‘sell’ from the recruiter.

Consumer Marketing

As we move into a time where the power lies within the candidate’s hands, talent acquisition teams are required to adopt more of a marketing mindset, similar to a consumer marketing function.

In consumer marketing, organizations constantly challenge their customers to experience their brands through visuals, videos, messaging, images, blogs, websites, etc. with the aim to inspire action. TNT, for example, does this really well.

It’s great, right?

TNT could have gone to market advertising that they are a channel that focuses on drama, that they are the most watched TV channel, and that they produce the best TV programs.

However, they didn’t…

What they did instead was allow you to experience drama first hand. They gave you the opportunity to live, just for a moment, what they do. As a television consumer, you are now well positioned to decide whether TNT is the channel for you. That is how you can challenge people to make a decision about your product, service, or job offering.

So, why don’t we do this in Talent Acquisition?

Up until now, talent leaders have been in control of the recruiting process. They have fundamentally made the decision as to whether a candidate makes it or not. In addition, as organizations, we have expected people to come and find us, search through our jobs, and apply. However, the tide has turned, the transparent labor market has transferred the control from organizations to candidates. Now, organizations need to be hunting to find the best talent, deploying marketing tactics to attract potential candidates, building relationships way in advance because, as we all know, the best and the brightest already have a great job.

With that, your employer brand is just as important as your company brand. In order to attract talent, you need to have a strong identity that candidates can buy in to, relate to, and build trust and loyalty for. To do that, you must enable them to experience your culture, even if it is just for a moment. So it’s imperative that we move away from creating flat experiences and harness the tools and technology out there to bring our culture and job openings alive.

What are you doing to inspire candidates to apply?

While employer branding helps attract the right candidates, only a good candidate experience ensures quality placements. Take a look at our latest infographic to see the candidate experience data in black and white.

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