Written by Susan Burns
Developing a strong, clear, engaging employment brand can be the difference between a whisper getting whipped around in a breeze and a crank-up the volume, highly amplified message, metaphorically speaking, to attract the best talent to your organization. That doesn’t mean you have to get out the megaphone and scream from the rooftops, but it does mean you need to get better at targeted positioning to catch the attention of prospective talent and move them to action. EnticeLabs has a technology called TalentSeekr that will help you do just that – without having to grab your megaphone!
I had a chance to talk with Joshua Westover of Entice and Steve Fogarty of adidas about TalentSeekr and Steve’s pilot campaign while we were in Las Vegas last month for the Kennedy Recruitment conference. Here’s their story about TalentSeekr. You can read mine following the video and the last paragraph captures Steve’s results.
What’s your brand story?
Crafting a great brand story begins by knowing your company’s culture, what attracts people to seek employment with you, why people stay with you, and articulating what sets you apart from the competition. How you engage prospective talent in your brand story occurs through a number of different touch points. It could be your corporate career site, social networking sites, blogs, job boards, Google Adwords, video, etc. Even the biggest and best brands need to work harder than ever to keep this a streamlined, efficient process that produces a solid ROI – converting prospects to hires. The persistent increase in the number of channels that companies need to engage in has made this process not only more complex but more expensive, harder to manage and harder to track.
Once you have your brand story articulated there are four elements that will help your marketing and advertising strategy produce more value: positioning, reach, relevancy, and experience. Positioning is important to make sure your brand will be seen by the talent your trying to attract. Reach is your ability to expansively target the talent your aiming for – narrow and deep to broad and deep. Relevancy ensures that your brand is reaching the most interested, best-fit prospects based on skill, interests and work experience. And, lastly, “experience” is providing a brand experience that results in an emotional connection that moves the prospect to action – expressing interest in your brand and career opportunities. The ability to break through the environmental noise in order to not only reach the talent you’re company needs but for that talent to take notice and act is where the true value comes in. Its also one of the most challenging aspects of employment brand advertising. The days of jobs, and job seekers, ending up in the classifieds or on a few key job boards are long gone. Plus, if you want to reach a more passive prospect your going to need a more sophisticated approach to reach them and capture their attention.
How relevant and targeted is your brand strategy?
Through TalentSeekr, EnticeLabs offers a sleek and effective approach to targeted employment brand positioning that provides companies a streamlined, intelligent approach to zero in on the talent their trying to reach. TalentSeekr applies geographic, contextual, behavioral and social media profile-targeting to deliver the highest ROI on each of your digital campaigns. By combining these four targeting capabilities, TalentSeekr automatically addresses positioning, reach and relevancy through location, targeted key words and site preferences (think Facebook, LinkedIn, User Groups….). As Joshua Westover of EnticeLabs says, ” We can get as broad as a nation or as narrow as a building”. EnticeLabs begins by collecting information from the recruiter about a job or a job category to develop a highly relevant positioning strategy. They’ll work with you to understand key markets (talent and geography) and create text, image, picture, video or flash ads that will appeal to passive and active seekers. (examples to the right from an adidas campaign)
Then, TalentSeekr automatically generates an engagement page that serves as a “storyboard” type concept to enhance the prospect’s experience with your company’s brand. Through the engagement page, TalentSeekr weaves together video, photos, referral capability, and links to your career site, job posting, community interface or any other digital real estate to which you want to drive traffic that results in a valuable employment experience.
Does your candidate experience measure up?
So, sit back and think about this for a minute. A prospect logs into their gmail account or Facebook profile and sees a highly relevant ad. They click on the ad and get a cool video and pictures about your company and / or product. They get information in another panel on the page that talks about your company culture. Another panel may invite them to join your community. And, there’s also a job link. How do you think the prospect is feeling about your company and the career opportunities after that experience? Probably pretty enticed! (yes, pun intended!) Don’t get hung up on thinking that you need to go out and produce a professional video. The more real the video the more effective it is in creating emotional engagement between the prospect and your brand. Flip cameras are about $100 and create great videos. Also, chances are that your company has some cool product videos that you could use (like the video used by adidas in their engagement page above). If the videos are interesting and relevant to the roles your focused on then why not use them?
Are you also beginning to see how TalentSeekr serves as a brand equalizer! While the graphics here represent adidas, a very well known and respected brand, the more relevant the placement, the better the brand attraction and the stronger the brand engagement experience. Brands of all sizes can overcome what traditionally has felt like a “big brand” advantage to become equal in appeal and attraction strength.
Is brand intelligence on your side?
TalentSeekr also gets smarter with age. The longer a campaign is run the more data TalentSeekr has to refine your positioning, ensuring that your receiving the highest ROI. While TalentSeekr can be applied successfully to specific jobs it’s even more effective if you think of job categories and integrate your marketing strategy with a talent pipelining or community building strategy. Think about the power of this integrated with your talent planning strategy and CRM tool! Through the Talent Seekr dashboard (below) you can track the effectiveness of your campaigns. TalentSeekr automatically reallocate advertising dollars so the brand placements that are driving the best traffic (not just volume but relevant traffic) will receive more impressions and in the end you’ll have a highly relevant pool of prospects and a data set that will inform future campaigns. You can also work closely with the EnticeLabs team and play a more active role in how ad placements are reallocated.
In the first campaign Steve ran through TalentSeekr for adidas they focused on a very difficult to fill position. In fact, it was a position that in the past had required outsourcing to executive search. Within two weeks adidas had attracted a number of highly relevant, top quality candidates and converted one to a hire and filled the position. The prospect adidas hired had seen the ad on their Gmail page and was so taken by the experience and highly relevant content they were blown away. Relevancy rules!