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Employer brand

How to Design a Successful Talent Acquisition Programme in the Digital Age

Nam Nguyen

stack.jpegWith so many companies leveraging digital media to attract top talent, how can you make sure you stand apart from the competition?

Did your last recruitment campaign geo-target employees working at competing firms? Snapchat’s did. Last year, some employees at Uber began to notice a new Snapchat geofilter that read, “This place driving you mad?” – it all turned out to be part of a quirky strategy that aimed to recruit top engineers from competing tech giants.

It may seem like the HR departments of highly sought-after companies like Uber, Twitter, and Pinterest would have no trouble attracting and retaining top talent. But in the highly competitive engineering field, the talent pool is small, and everyone is trying to catch the same fish. That competitive environment has led to some very inventive recruitment programmes from which the rest of us would do well to learn.

To Attract Creative Minds, Think Outside the Box

Savvy recruiters know that LinkedIn and Facebook are no longer enough for a comprehensive digital outreach strategy. Considering that 84% of organisations currently recruit through social media, how can you stand out from the crowd?

If you are trying to fill positions in an incredibly competitive field, you need to explore new ways of finding top talent. Looking to industry-specific forums and websites is a good way to meet new people. If a user is active on a platform related to their industry (Stack Overflow for programmers, for example) or a question-and-answer platform like Quora, they will probably be an employee who is interested in not only learning, but sharing knowledge.

Don’t limit yourself to the web, either. Customer contact software company Genesys has taken a proactive approach to nurturing candidates by creating an associate programme for recent college graduates. Each associate participates in a three-week training programme, followed by an extensive long-term mentoring experience. While Genesys most needs those with an engineering or tech background, programme participants are selected based on their motivation, drive and creativity (and not their technical expertise).

It might also help to connect with high school graduates, trade schools, community college attendees or veterans – at the end of the day, fresh talent with diverse skill sets will be an asset to your company both now and in the future.

Leveraging Your Unique Employer Brand

Companies need to treat potential new hires like customers and design recruitment strategies that fit their behaviour. Building and maintaining brand loyalty is essential to staying competitive, and in the same way, building employee brand allegiance is imperative for a strong workforce. Candidates today are evaluating your company as much as you are evaluating them, and oftentimes, they’ve put in hours of legwork before they even apply for a job. If you approach a passive candidate before they approach you, they’ll be looking that much harder to see if this opportunity may hold more promise than their current situation.

A successful employer brand is first built with your employees and later communicated via your outreach platforms. A mobile-friendly careers section on your website should be filled with details about the company’s mission, values and working environment; detailed job descriptions and a seamless application process that will motivate candidates to come to you. If their initial interaction with you is a positive one, they are more likely to apply.

And don’t neglect your current employees – they are your company’s most valuable brand ambassadors. Incorporating testimonials and videos on your website and other social media platforms, as well as encouraging reviews on sites like Glassdoor gives job seekers valuable ad authentic window into your work environment and core values.

If you already have an online community of dedicated brand lovers, this is an ideal location in which to share your recruitment announcements; if you don’t, consider building one. Having a place for like-minded individuals to connect and share ideas, (like Sony’s Playstation Community or Oracle Community) will passively put your company in the minds of job seekers who already have an interest in what you do.

If you are an older company with a long history, you may have trouble changing people’s ideas about what it is you actually do today. GE faced that very problem – many young people still thought of them as a stodgy manufacturer, someplace your grandfather might work. They confronted that image head-on with their series of ‘What’s the Matter with Owen?’ adverts, which showed Owen’s efforts to get people excited about his new job as a developer at GE. This type of goal-orientated digital marketing is perfect when looking to refresh your brand image while recruiting for specific talent.

Good recruiting takes time and creativity. You need to be two steps ahead of both your competitors and prospective candidates in order to capture the interest of top talent. Once you’ve made that connection, an attractive employer brand, coupled with an engaging and data-led recruitment process, will result in a stronger and deeper talent pool.

Nam Nguyen

Nam is Launchpad's Customer Success Manager. With 9 years experience in customer facing roles, Nam is the secret to our happy and satisfied customers.