This won’t be the last time you’ll hear the phrase, “We’re in a battle for talent but a war for attention.”
Think about the current job market: There are now more open jobs than there are job seekers, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. The supply and demand curves are inverted and that’s causing recruitment marketing agencies, talent tools, and in-house specializations to bubble up throughout the industry in an attempt to adapt.
At the same time, everyone is competing for the attention of job seekers amongst everything else going on in their lives both professionally and personally—not to mention, the flurry of pings, texts, pop-ups, emails, Slacks, Snaps, and Tweets, constantly occupying their headspace.
So how do you win the war for attention? You need to find ways to leverage your partnerships and derive the most value out of the recruitment marketing content you already have.
Like a great chef using ingredients leftover from one recipe to create another so as not to cause any waste—it’s important to capitalize on opportunities to activate your employer brand assets across multiple channels to create a cohesive narrative.
Throughout the candidate journey, job seekers are looking for signs that they're on the right track and asking themselves questions like, "Should I keep going into this unknown vortex of candidacy and put myself out there, or turn back?" When you take one single piece of content and use it across multiple funnel checkpoints, you can create memorable moments for your candidates that provide them with that sense of reassurance—that there's something beautiful to be found at each subsequent stage.
As Accolade’s global employer brand and recruitment marketing leader (something I simply call “strategic storytelling”), we’ve evolved and continually strive to ensure that anything related to our talent and talent opportunity assets—internally or externally—is coupled with the same relentless focus on consistent and personalized experiences. This is something that we consider the yin to the yang of our corporate brand and company mission, hyper-focusing on members and their experiences across our products, services, and interactions.
Here are three simple examples of how we use content from our company profile on The Muse across three different avenues to help keep our candidates engaged and de-risk drop off during all moments of truth in the candidate journey. I like to think of it in terms of the three basic elements of making a cake because when you put them all together, you get something truly worth it.
The Cake: Your Careers Site
Your careers page is always going to be a key touchpoint in any candidate's journey. It's the base of the cake—and you need to have the right mix of ingredients (or, in this case, content and insights) if you want it to bake properly.
One of the first and easiest things you can do to capture the attention of job seekers here is syndicate your employer brand content to your own company’s career site, plus any microsite landing pages you might have (e.g. business unit, location, team). At Accolade, we repurpose content from our Muse profile throughout our careers site, including a section called “Hear From Our Employees” where we feature three (of the 16 total) employee video testimonials from our profile.
Employer brand content like this is topical, authentic, and uplifting, and you should absolutely be bringing it to the forefront for candidates to engage with directly on your careers site. The insight they gain from learning about your team, culture, and values is exactly the type of reassurance they need to keep moving forward in their journey.
On the back-end, you own the attribution data to measure effectiveness by looking at engagement and job seeker activity (think: Google Analytics), so you can play around with content selection and placement to see which combination or experiment garners the best results.
The Icing: Your Job Ads and Requisition Landing Pages
If you were a candidate looking at our careers site today and searching through our open positions, you would ultimately land on one of our multimedia-enriched job listings. Each listing includes a module at the top with relevant Muse content that offers insight into that particular role's business unit or office location. For example, our open engineering roles feature video testimonials from current employees in our Product & Tech departments.
This part is like the icing: Our goal here is to build on a candidate's growing excitement about potentially joining our team at Accolade, rather than diluting this feeling with a job description that offers little to no insight into our company, the team, or what the role actually looks and feels like.
In other words, if a candidate is directed to a flat, text-only job description after previously engaging with some of your more dynamic employer brand content, they'll experience a sudden change in your employer brand tone and messaging—and possibly think twice about applying at the exact moment you're trying to convert candidates to applicants.
The Sprinkles: Bolstering Your Social Media Marketing Assets
Think about how often you browse various social media sites on any given day. The traffic that you contribute to these platforms—and their respective communities—is incredible in scale and there's tremendous opportunity across these channels for practitioners to win the war for attention.
Yet, recruitment marketers are often drawn to more quantitative results when it comes to measuring the impact of employer branding efforts, such as likes, hearts, and views (also known as “vanity metrics”). While those numbers are necessary for tracking success, it's also important to dig deeper and consider the qualitative impact of using social media assets, campaigns, and advertisements for dynamic storytelling.
Video content like our employee testimonials on The Muse, for example, captures real people with relevant emotions and diverse insights. Those types of stories are worth promoting on social media because candidates are already looking at these channels to learn more about your company during the job search (sort of like how sprinkles add texture to an already delicious cake). They're also much more effective than stock imagery and flashy marketing taglines when it comes to grabbing the attention of job seekers—and converting them to applicants.
Some qualitative results you might start to notice when you activate social media as a key recruitment marketing platform: better-informed applicants, interviewees, and hires who understand your culture, mission, and values (and want to contribute to them).
In the end, if you’re looking for fast results by strengthening your recruiting strategy in any or all of the ways described above, remember this: employer branding is a long-term play.
Think about it like a seed planted that could blossom into any number of quality interviews or hires in a matter of weeks, months, or longer. It takes a ton of patience and requires paying close attention to your content’s consistency and quality in order to succeed—but it can be made easier when you make the most of the resources you have at your disposal.
Photo of businessman with laptop leading meeting courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Brandon Linn is a strategic storyteller who has taken a non-traditional path to HR. From his roots as a musician to his stint as a Hollywood TV writer, Brandon brings his creativity to developing and activating the talent brand of Accolade—a healthcare technology company recognized as one of the nation’s 25 Most Promising Companies by Forbes, the fastest-growing private healthcare company by Inc. 500, and a three-time winner of Seattle Business magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work For. Feel free to connect with Brandon directly on LinkedIn here.More from this Author