When it comes to personal representation, talent development is as important as image development. Building a brand requires a great image. Building a great image requires having fantastic talent. Recruiting fantastic talent requires putting a great learning and development (L&D) strategy in place from the very beginning. Utilising a great L&D strategy is increasingly becoming the norm in organisations. According to the 2019 L&D Report compiled by findcourses.co.uk, a massive 72% of industry-leading organisations use L&D in their recruitment process. More than half believe that it gives them a competitive advantage, while 39% take L&D even further, using it is a decision-making tool when promoting talent. Why? The numbers speak for themselves. Organisations that use L&D in this way have a 22% lower staff turnover rate, with much higher levels of staff satisfaction with their roles. But how do you put a great L&D strategy together in the first place?
When I’m speaking to new contacts in the recruitment and HR sphere I often find myself being asked during recruitment marketing discussions: “what is employer branding and why does it matter?” (this usually stems from a conversation where I’m explaining what we do here at BlueSky PR that makes us more than just a PR firm!) So, having faced the question again recently, I thought now would be a great time to jot down some useful information.
Unless your organisation is an Instagram or a Snapchat and you’ve developed some as yet unidentified method of apparently creating huge amounts of revenue, it’s pretty clear that people are the key to any business. Your employees and what they know are generally what differentiates you from the competition and as much as you might think your fancy CRM, or the PlayStation you have in the kitchen make your company what it is, it’s actually your employees. This makes winning the war for talent – your own talent – absolutely critical and, as we all know, the race is fast and intense in the recruitment industry. Every firm is battling for the best and brightest in the market with the vast majority using little else but salary and bonus options to attract their next critically important employee. That’s clearly not enough and at a time when many of your rivals are likely promising the world and everything in it to their potential employees, you need to go that extra mile to recruit the talent you want. However, fear not, we’re here to help – PR can make all the difference when it comes to recruiting for your own firm. How?
Recruitment businesses need three things in order to be successful. Great candidates Great clients Great recruitment consultants So how do you attract candidates, clients, and recruiters to your business? Job adverts Content marketing Direct marketing Media coverage Attracting candidates with job adverts Who writes your job adverts? Your clients? Your consultants? Your marketing department? An external supplier? Do they use the job description as a starting point? Is there a standard template you use as a business? Do you know who your ideal applicant is and what they’re looking for from a new role? Do you research key search terms before you start writing? Attracting clients and candidates with content marketing Are your consultants writing regular blog posts? And sharing regular social media posts?
As recently as a decade ago if you wanted to find out what it was like to work at an organisation you’d have to track down someone who worked there, or hope that the firm had a particularly proactive marketing manager who uploaded information about the employer brand on to the company website. However, times have changed. Now, company information is everywhere and if platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter aren’t enough, then firms also have to contend with portals like Glassdoor, which can give the full ‘warts and all’ story whether the company wanted it or not. Simply paying someone a good salary and expecting them to be happy doesn’t cut it anymore. People want a ‘nice’ employer, particularly at the ‘millennial’ end of the market. In fact, 69% of respondents to a Glassdoor survey revealed that they wouldn’t take a job with a company that had a bad reputation and an impressive 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with an organisation that had an excellent corporate reputation.
With the New Year now upon us, one thing is clear, that the skills shortages experienced across a number of sectors over the last 12 months are likely to continue well into the coming year. Shortages across key economic sectors will undoubtedly continue to present significant opportunities for recruiters, but how can businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors to attract candidates and win assignments? In one of our recent think tanks, ‘The Challenge of Marketing in Today’s Recruitment Sector’, all of the delegates agreed that the nature of the profession means there is little opportunity to establish a truly unique, tangible USP. The recruitment process is one with minimal room for adaptation, so instead of focusing on promoting a unique selling point, recruitment professionals should be concentrating on establishing and promoting a ubiquitous brand message. Gaining press coverage in outlets such as national, regional, or industry specific publications, are all great ways to promote your brand. Providing comments for articles on current issues can also be a fantastic way of proving your expertise on a specific topic, especially in industry specific publications. This coverage could then subsequently be used in pitches to help you win further assignments.