We both agreed that it was the direction that recruiters needed to take if they want to improve their career and create sustainability for the internal recruitment function. Importantly, we also agreed that the competencies or skills required to undertake this were readily attainable. Any recruiter considering this direction would require two things the desire to be a marketeer and then the propensity to take action.
Outlined below are our thoughts on the key points that Internal Recruiters need to turn themselves into Marketeers:
1. Brand Perspective
“Brand Perspective – by this I mean, the Internal Recruiter must have a thorough understanding and be able to succinctly describe their organisation’s value proposition. They must have a realistic view of where their brand sits in the market compared to both direct and indirect competitors.”
The way that this competency can be acquired is to:
Understand the patterns of what types of candidates prefer your organisations to others;
Review competitors web sites and social media and understand their espoused value propositions;
Review information in LinkedIn in terms of where employees from your organisation go when they leave and where they come from will give clues;
Survey previous jobs applicants to seek their perception of your brand and recruitment process;
Talk to hiring managers to gain their perspective of the market and your direct competitors; and finally
Summarise your thoughts and circulate them internally for comment. Mind maps are great for this.
2. Market Perspective
“In consumer marketing one of the first exercises to be undertaken is to clearly understand and articulate the businesses’ target audience. As an Internal Recruiter this concept is just as important, because unless you understand the specific breakdown and nuances of your audience your marketing activity is likely to be ineffective.”
Key areas to look at are:
Core demographic data; candidate age group, gender, location, education and most importantly interests;
Do your organisations’ recruitment requirements cover more than one demographic? For example your technology team may have a different target demographic to your sales team;
Could you market content to siblings or friends of your target demographic? A recent example being an engineering company that wished to target overseas Engineers. The problem was that Engineers weren’t active on Facebook so the job marketing content was instead targeted to their partners.
3. Influencing Skills
“I believe influencing skills are the mother of all skills. This skill will enable a Recruiter to achieve great things. These skills are defined as the “capacity to persuade, convince, or influence others in order to get them to go along with or support a particular point of view and take action”. This is useful from both an external and internal perspective.”
Externally, influence is important because it enables Recruiters to persuade candidates to consider a specific role over many others they are likely considering.
Internal influence, funnily enough, is the most important. For example, if you are able to convince your internal stakeholders to invest in innovation in terms of technology, improved processes, new concepts or to change behavior then you have a very good chance of advancing in Internal Recruitment.
Looking at some of my colleagues in Internal Recruitment like Rebecca Houghton – Australia Post, Antony Hall – Air New Zealand, James Elliot – Commonwealth Bank and David Bell at GE, they all have very strong abilities in this area.
To Improve Your Influencing Skills I Believe You Need To:
1. Understand which stakeholders are the most important and the most influential, there a number of stakeholder matrix tools readily available;
2. Review and determine what has worked with important changes in the past, and then determine your path of least resistance;
3. Prepare a business case for your idea, this may be a formal case that you document, or simply an elevator pitch on the benefits of your plan;
4. Find people who have the ability, capacity and tenacity to mentor you and execute; and
5. Be very practical and keep it simple. David Bell always uses this phrase “your mother should be able to understand”.
Prioritisation – Understand your most critical and scarce positions and give these priority in terms of effort, time and resources.
“If these critical roles are known to be challenging to recruit, avoid wasted time going through the motions of traditional sourcing and instead spend this time with hiring managers to understand the best ways to access and convert this talent.”
Mentality – Most recruiters have been trained to recruit using online job boards. This has led to a mentality whereby we are accustomed to dealing with high volumes of applicants that have to be filtered to find the best applicants.
“To successfully take action and work like a Marketeer recruiters have to be open to changing this mentality. At the centre of this change is focusing time and effort going straight to pre-identified groups of skilled talent and then to build networks, engage and promote topical content.”
There is new technology entering our industry almost every month, each offering to automate a different part of the recruitment process. Whilst lots of these can be incredibly tempting, knowing which of these are core to successful recruitment is most important.
Marketeers are increasingly needing to have knowledge on tools that previously may have been seen as irrelevant. Such tools include basic graphic design software, content scheduling applications, cost per click and impression advertising platforms and even Google Analytics.
I just love the Ten Commandments of an Intrapreneur. You need to be a bit careful in using these rules, as it can make you a bit of a maverick, which can either be good or bad depending on your situation. We wish you luck.
If you want to learn more about how to improve your branding, marketing and recruiting to solve your talent acquisition needs now and in the future, join your peers at ATC2015 in Sydney. Limited spots are still available, here.
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