Editor’s Note: This five-week series is dedicated to examining the five most common Ps of a typical marketing mix and assessing how they relate to recruitment. Today’s post focuses on people; the remaining concepts – placement and promotion – will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next couple weeks. For a look at assessments on product and price, view my previous posts.
Regardless of the business, the people involved with producing a product or a service inevitably shape the final outcome. While the nature of a particular business certainly renders some attributes more influential than others, the appearance, attitudes, experience, and beliefs of staff impact the sale of a product. In service-based businesses, like restaurants and retail, the appearance of staff reinforces commitments the company makes to health, safety, and brand position. Uniforms and service standards are just two ways businesses seek to deliver on their brand promise through their agents. These define the claims made by the company – whether it is to be the number one luxury retailer or safest car manufacturer.
A company’s people are often called upon to respond to crisis and serve as a testament to a brand promise. Toyota, who issued recalls of roughly 2.3 million vehicles in January 2010, created a series of videos featuring employees stating their commitment to safety. A number of technicians, engineers, plant employees, and dealers discussed the recall and how they planned to move forward. In another example, Domino’s created “The Pizza Turnaround” documentary featuring actual employees and their reactions to consumer opinions. The project featured people from all departments – from chefs and senior leaders to marketing and product management – who openly addressed criticism uncovered online and in focus groups.
So how do people impact recruitment? The individuals within your organization can be your biggest advocates, or the most compelling deterrent in your pursuit of top talent. Employers tell us that employee referrals are often the number one source of hire, even when the awareness of an employee referral incentive is low. What this tells us is that people are passionate about where they work. So much time is spent at work and whether the experience is good or bad – people talk.
Creating opportunities for your passionate brand stewards to publicly endorse your company as a place to work is the cornerstone of social recruitment. The content you share on social media channels should be a combination of company-created messages and unsolicited testimony from real staff. Encourage employees to join your communities, interact with potential applicants, and take a vested interest in the conversation. Not only does this substantiate your claims as a desirable place to work, but it can serve as a research mechanism to see which messages are most effective with potential candidates.
Try this exercise: Ask functional area leaders within your business to identify key individuals who demonstrate company values and could serve as a mentor to potential applicants. You can also look to staff members who have been recognized for awards, participate in corporate volunteerism, or are active in affinity groups. Pull these individuals together and create short videos documenting why they believe your company is a great place to work or what they like best about their job. The videos don’t have to be extravagant (here are a few simple examples: SCA and CR Bard), but the faces of staff will serve as an interactive influence to outsiders. Use these videos to start conversations in social media and post them on your careers site.
Bottom line: Don’t make the mistake of excluding people from your recruitment marketing presence. Physical evidence is a fundamental part of effective persuasion, so encourage employee participation in official corporate-created social media communities – their credibility on working at your company will give potential applicants plenty of authentic proof to support your claims. Discuss important topics – like culture, growth potential, and benefits. Tap recently hired staff to talk about their experiences with your recruitment and on-boarding processes – two areas most companies fail to address, yet one of the topics four out of five job seekers want more transparency on. Promote referral bonus programs and invest in a job sharing application that integrates with Facebook or LinkedIn to give your staff easy ways to share job opportunities in their networks. Lastly, create internal channels for staff to feel heard in case negative issues arise. Without support internally, your authorities won’t defend you publicly.Related