Understatement: It’s been a tough year.
We have seen huge shifts in candidate behaviour, and seemingly overnight we have found ourselves in an employer driven market, rather than a candidate driven one. The necessity for cutting budgets and is real and unavoidable, and particularly as there are no shortages of candidates the temptation is to take our foot off the employer brand pedal. What do you need a brand for when you have got candidates knocking down your door?
But the truth is, your employer brand is more important than ever. An abundance of candidates doesn’t mean recruitment is now easy – it actually means the opposite, and consequently that there is more potential to provide a bad candidate experience to a much larger audience.
But just because budget pressures are real, doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to improve your employer brand offering. Here are six ways you can do that without breaking the budget.
1. Fix your candidate journeys
Your brand isn’t just what people say about you, it is also the experience they have with you. With unprecedented numbers of candidates applying to open roles, putting your best foot forward and providing a seamless and candidate-focused journey is critical. There are three big things to think about here.
First, make sure your candidate journey is a good one. Take the time to step through the journey yourself with a candidate persona in mind. Try applying for a role. Click on everything and see where it takes you, and don’t forget to check what communications you get as a part of the process. Experiencing the candidate journey ourselves is usually the best way to see where the gaps are, and even small changes can make a big difference and help show your brand in a positive light.
Secondly, you will be rejecting candidates – probably a lot of candidates. Review your application process and think if there are qualifying questions you can ask up-front to help candidates self-select out and avoid a rejection later. Review your auto-communications from your ATS to make sure candidates’ expectations are managed and that you have delivered the rejection in an empathetic way.
Thirdly, you don’t want all those rejected candidates to disappear into the ether. Particularly if you’re rejecting candidates en masse because there are simply too many to contact, because that means someone who may have been perfect for the job will be left feeling confused by your rejection. It’s time to blow the dust off your CRM and refocus on your keep-warm strategies.
2. Talent pooling
Speaking of CRMs, if you’re not Talent pooling already, you should be. Large numbers of applications mean that all the money you were going to put into advertising you can now save and focus on re-engaging with silver medallist candidates.
There is simply no point continuously scraping the market for new Talent when you have already got good Talent sitting in your CRM or ATS waiting patiently to be reached out to when a role suitable for their skills comes up.
3. Enhance your SEO
Ensuring your career website is findable is essentially ensuring you will attract “free” candidates, because you are helping candidates come directly to you rather than finding you via advertising.
SEO can seem like a dark art, but these days it is really all about relevance to your audience. Do some research and find out what topics your audience is searching for (or even better, find out what questions they have), and make sure you are covering those topics on your career website.
If you don’t have an SEO tool like MOZ or SEMrush, a great way to do this is to go to Google and search for a phrase you think might be relevant to your audience, like “what skills do I need for data science?” Below your search results, you will see “People also ask”, where Google supplies a featured snippet that allows you to see related questions to your search. Now you have got the beginnings of a content list.
4. Collaborate with your consumer marketing team
Our employer brands should naturally align with our consumer brand – they are after all two sides to the same coin. Collaborating with your consumer marketing or brand teams could mean pooling your budgets to get a better product for less.
For example, the consumer team might be looking at creating a video that features some of your employees – perhaps extra budget could go towards creating some social snippets that you could use for Talent attraction?
Or if your in-house content team is going to be interviewing employees anyway, there may be opportunity to ask a couple of extra questions that relate to the employment space. Double the content, half the work.
Social is pay-to-play, and in times when budget is tight, paid media can often be the first to go. But that doesn’t mean you need to lean back on organic and hope for the best.
Mobilising your employees with an advocacy program is a simple and cost-effective way to reach a wider audience. It also has the added bonus of showcasing your thought leaders – people like to work with smart people, so highlighting that your business is full of them is extremely attractive to potential candidates.
Measuring your employer brand activities is important for many reasons, not least because it allows you to see if your strategies are successful. But in the context of sparing budget measurement it is especially powerful.
It allows you to see things like if content you are creating is resonating with your audience, so you know what to make more of. It allows you to see which channels you are using are resulting in visits, clicks and conversions, so those are the channels you should focus your energy on, or perhaps you need a new tactic for the channels that aren’t converting.
Low or no budget doesn’t need to mean you can’t offer your candidates a good experience, or that you can’t still attract great Talent. And just like travelling on a shoestring, finding ways to build on and make the most out of what you are already doing can be just as effective as big-bang, big-budget strategies.
Cover image: Shutterstock
If you are an internal Talent Acquisition executive for a corporate organisation, we would love to have you at our exclusive Future of Talent 2020 event series. Click to learn more and register your interest today.
Leave a Reply