Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

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The Five Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Day 5 – Promotion

Editor’s Note: This concludes our five week series on the Five Ps of Recruitment Marketing (product, price, people, placement, and promotion). Special thanks to Mike Dwyer for an afternoon conversation that inspired this series of blog posts. For a look at assessments on product, price, people and placement, view my previous posts.

Promotion involves the means by which a product is communicated to, or sold, to customers. Traditionally, these aspects of marketing could include direct mail pieces, television and radio advertisements, press and demonstration events, sponsorships and celebrity endorsements, coupons and rebates, brochures, packaging, and free samples. Today, promotions involve other tactics like websites, guerilla marketing, search engine and display advertising, email, and SMS communications.

There is an unending list of ways product benefits and features can be communicated to a highly defined audience. And what’s better is that recruitment marketers can use all these same tactics to market their product: jobs and culture. Promotions are not free however, so marketers factor cost of promotions into the product’s profitability the same way you factor cost per hire.

How do you decide which are right for your target talent?

By in Talent Management

The 5 Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Part 4 – Placement

In marketing, placement involves getting your product or service in front of your target customers. This means selecting the right stores and determining the best place to display it – like the end of an aisle or rack, with a special stand-alone display, or within a check-out counter. The act of distributing the product and ensuring consistent supply within key markets is also involved. Marketers must estimate how much demand they can create in a certain area and supply the right amount of product to meet anticipated demand. Often, pricing strategies fluctuate with changes in placement, thereby adding another layer of complexity to strategy. Logistics – the act of physically transporting a good – must also be considered. As demands grow, additional distribution channels and manufacturing sites closer to where the product is sold are often needed to minimize transportation costs and increase speed to market.

In recruitment, talent acquisition strategists employ these same principles to sell their product: jobs. We plan placement strategies to support regional hiring – say when a new location opens or during periods of growth. To hire, a national job advertisement is often posted, along with state and local advertisements, to source talent already residing in a specific market. Other times, if the role is specific or highly specialized, job ads will be placed on niche boards to reach a defined audience of the workforce. Some geographic areas have less supply of specialized talent, so relocation costs are paid to overcome talent shortages and secure the right candidate for a job. Recruiters attend career fairs at colleges and universities known for strong academic programs to put their product in front of graduates who will have skills and education applicable to a role at the company. Other times, recruitment can resemble a commission sales model and a staffing agency is paid to help fill a job. Similar to a rebate offered to reward consumers for purchasing a good, recruitment marketers may also offer a signing bonus to candidates who accept certain jobs.

By in CareerBuilder Solutions, Talent Acquisition

Make your people part of the recruitment strategy

The 5 Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Part 3 – People

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.

people and your recruitment strategy

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.

By in Employment Branding, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management

Is your job worth the price?

The 5 Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Part 2 – Price

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 price; the remaining concepts – people, placement and promotion – will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next few weeks. For a look at the assessment of product, check out my post from last week.

Is your job worth the price?A number of factors contribute to the final price of a good or service, including the cost of materials or labor to produce the final product, overhead and distribution costs, and desired profitability. Other things like discounts, commission, and marketing costs to acquire a customer impact the bottom line as well. To learn from marketing, consider what it will cost a candidate to accept your job offer.

Seldom is a career opportunity a perfect match for a candidate. In most cases, there may need to be a trade off of desired benefits or a minor sacrifice of one benefit for another. Most job seekers bargain with the variables when deciding whether they will apply for a job. For example, a job may require a longer commute but offer greater advancement potential. Or, a company with a stronger brand reputation may offer a smaller starting salary than a lesser-known company.

Understand the price a candidate may have to pay to accept a particular job so you can proactively emphasize the redeeming qualities of the opportunity that offset costs. Don’t overlook how helpful it can be to share information about the realities of a job. For example, say you know your target talent has between five to eight years of experience and prefers urban living; but your job is in a suburb that requires relocation or a 50 to 60 minute commute. Address it! While it’s unrealistic to include this type of detail in a job advertisement, social media is the ideal forum to elaborate on things beyond essential qualifications and job functions. Seek out employees who have a reverse commute and get them to share their perspective on Facebook. They can give details about taking public transportation and shortcuts they’ve found that make the commute manageable. Whatever the topic, this is just one of the ways to remove obstacles that could prevent your target talent from applying to and accepting your job.

By in Talent Acquisition

choosing the right product

The 5 Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Part 1 – Product

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 product; the others – on price, people, placement and promotion – will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next five weeks.

choosing the right productRaise your hand if you remember Marketing 101! If you’re like most talent acquisition professionals, the principles of marketing are hazy. A few Ps here, a DMA or two there. Most recruiters know enough to be dangerous, and it doesn’t matter much for day-to-day talent attraction anyway, right?

Think again.

Follow the typical marketing mix and apply it to recruitment – you’ll find there are an astounding number of similarities. The techniques used to effectively sell a product or service work just as well in selling a career opportunity. As such, the most successful social recruiters view talent acquisition through a marketing lens.

For my next handful of posts, I’d like to focus on the five most common Ps of marketing and tie to them into recruitment. And since each concept holds significant value, it’s only fair to give them the appropriate coverage, breaking tips and exercises into a series that will run over the next five weeks.

Today’s focus: Product

In traditional marketing, a product is the physical good or service offered to a consumer. The attributes of the product are the accompanying benefits the product boasts. These attributes – function, design, packaging, ease of use, and warranty – are weighed against costs to determine if it is desirable for the purchaser. The purchase is influenced by the seller’s overall brand identity and word-of-mouth reputation as well as the influence of other consumers on the customer (e.g. a child may influence a parent’s toy purchase).

In recruitment marketing, your product is a job. The attributes of that job – pay, working hours, essential job functions, supervising staff, full time vs. part-time or contract – are all considered by a candidate. The decision to apply for the opportunity is impacted positively or negatively by the company’s employment brand and word-of-mouth opinions of current and former staff. And, like a product, there are influencers in an applicant’s life that factor into the decision to apply for or accept a job offer. For example, the impact on family is considered when a lengthy commute disturbs work-life balance.

By in Employment Branding, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management

Launching a Social Media Recruitment Plan

How To Launch in the Social Space

Feel pressure to add social media to your recruitment mix? Chances are you’ve been putting it off for one or all of these four reasons:

  1. Lack of urgency – Existing responsibilities claim priority over new developments.
  2. Impact – You can’t predict an earth-shattering ROI, so it’s difficult to sell up the chain.
  3. Organizational fear – Someone forwarded the Domino’s Pizza employee video to everyone in the company without showing how they responded and are growing stronger from it.
  4. Analysis paralysis – You’ve got the green light to create a social recruiting presence, but are unsure how to get started.

Sound about right? Read on.

This scenario is common. We meet social media evangelists everyday who “totally get it” and are nearing their breaking point trying to convince those who don’t. Pushing social media uphill in an organization riddled with naysayers often involves debating countless public social media disasters to convince everyone the anticipated rewards are worth any small risks. Before you throw in the towel, try practicing these four ways to sharpen your lobbying skills:

Wise up on the big “C”
Compliance. It’s the trump card the critics will undoubtedly pull from their sleeve to discredit social media sites for recruitment. Be ready for this objection and practice your rebuttal. There’s a difference between using social media sites to source candidates and extending your employment brand to attract candidates. In fact, Anthony Scarpino, Director of Talent Acquisition at Sodexo describes it best here.

By participating in social media to source, a recruiter uses a site like LinkedIn to seek out candidates and contact them directly or through an introduction about an opportunity. This involves targeting and evaluating attributes of the candidate profile. This type of sourcing should follow a standard process to ensure equal consideration of all candidates and is most effective when initiated from individual recruiter accounts.

Social recruiting differs because the main goal is to motivate people to join the company’s talent community, apply to jobs, attend job fairs, and experience the culture. Calls to action for candidates on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., typically link back to a job posting tied to an OFCCP-compliant application process. Simply put, social recruiting is experiential marketing. It’s about showing people that your company is a great place to work, connecting them to peers who can affirm what you claim, and answering questions. It leaves the screening up to the trained recruiters.

By in Social Media


Should management training be standard for first-time leaders?

If you’ve been in the human resources profession for more than, well, a day or two, you’re probably familiar with the following employee complaints:

  • My boss plays favorites
  • My boss doesn’t follow through on what he/she promises
  • My boss doesn’t listen to concerns
  • My boss doesn’t provide regular feedback
  • My boss doesn’t keep me motivated
  • My boss doesn’t help me develop
  • My boss only provides negative feedback

That’s because these, according to a new CareerBuilder survey on management, are the most common gripes that employees have about their bosses.

Although these complaints can often be attributed to a clash of personality types or poor communication between workers and their supervisors, these leadership issues may also arise when an employee feels ill-prepared for a management position, which, according to the survey results, is pretty often. One-in-four managers polled said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others.

According to Dennis Kravetz, author of “Measuring Human Capital: Converting Workplace Behavior into Dollars,” it’s not surprising that some managers feel this way. “Any supervisory job is dramatically different from a non-supervisory role,” he says. “For example, non-supervisory engineers need to have a variety of technical engineering competencies, accountants need technical accounting competencies, etc. Employees are trained for this at the college level and their performance at a non-supervisory level is based on how technically competent they are in their field.”

On the other hand, Kravetz says, the competencies that make for a successful manager — like developing others, handling conflict and scheduling work — are primarily people-based. “The net result is that these people are often lost in the job of new supervisor,” he says.

Indeed, it seems that the areas most managers struggle with are primarily those that are people-centric. According to the survey, managers reported having the most trouble with the following:

  • Dealing with issues between co-workers on my team – 25 percent
  • Motivating team members – 22 percent
  • Performance reviews – 15 percent
  • Finding the resources needed to support the team – 15 percent
  • Creating career paths for my team – 12 percent

Again, Kravetz says these results are to be expected. “[Management] literally is an entirely different job with entirely different competencies. As a consequence the new supervisor focuses on only the technical engineering and accounting work and they forget about being a supervisor and the many people issues that come up. This produces unhappy employees, and senior managers who are unhappy with the new manager,” he says.

So how can you ensure that your first time managers are competent? Here are a few tips.

1. Analyze leadership capacity before the promotion: Prior to offering a promotion, analyze the employee’s leadership skills by conducting a “simulation interview,” Kravetz says. “These interviews ask candidates how they would handle a number of hypothetical situations on the job that pertain to supervising others. You can’t fake the answers — you either know how to resolve staff conflict on a work team or you don’t.”

By in Leadership Development, Survey Results

help wanted HS

Small businesses plan to increase staff in 2011, but still face hiring challenges

When it comes to recruiting, limited resources can mean that small businesses are often up against a separate set of challenges than large corporations. Luckily, creativity and innovation can go a long way when solving many of these problems. On Tuesday, for example, we told you about one of the common recruiting difficulties that small businesses face — attracting and retaining employees — and how developing and implementing a strong employment brand can be a creative way to resolve it.

Unfortunately, though, some of the more pervasive recruiting roadblocks that small businesses face can be a little tougher to bypass. According to a new CareerBuilder survey on small business hiring trends for 2011, respondents said that they expect their biggest recruiting challenges this year will be related to accessing credit, government regulations and health insurance costs — all problems which can be both difficult and frustrating to overcome.

The survey, which polled more than 1,350 small businesses, found the greatest hiring challenges to be:

  • Cost of health insurance — 50 percent
  • Access to credit — 33 percent
  • Government regulations — 27 percent
  • Marketing expenses and building awareness — 26 percent
  • Attracting and hiring top talent — 19 percent

Yet small businesses are nothing if not resilient, and despite these hiring issues, more small businesses still plan to increase headcount this year than in recent years past.

By in Economy, Small Business, Survey Results

“The Company Men” Examines Layoffs from both Sides of the Table

Last week I got the chance to speak with John Wells, writer and director of “The Company Men” for our sister site, The film, which dissects the effects of layoffs on those who experience them, stars Academy Award winners Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, and hits theaters today.

Though “The Company Men” takes the most in-depth look at the psychological and existential effects that job loss has on workers, it also touches on the legal, ethical and emotional struggles experienced by the executives and human resources staff who make the decisions on “who stays and who goes.” An aspect of the film Wells decided to include after speaking with human resources executives (and one that can be seen in the below clip).

“I sort of feel like my first version of [the script was] more like a creed against corporate America and that that wasn’t very fair and probably not balanced, so I went back and interviewed a lot of CEOs and human resources executives, and people were very willing to talk to me,” Wells told TheWorkBuzz.

By in Economy

interview mistake

Candidates’ Most Unusual Interview Mistakes

You’re a job seeker with an interview today. As you get ready to walk into the office of your potential employer, you’re most likely to:

A. Give yourself a pep-talk about how you’ve got this one in the bag

B. Check out your reflection in the glass doors to make sure you look as great as you think you do

C. Chug the last of your beer and toss the can in the trash

If you chose C. then you actually wouldn’t be alone (though you might want to re-think your career path). According to the results of CareerBuilder’s annual survey on outrageous and common interview mistakes, one job candidate actually polished off a beer before walking into the reception area on the day of his interview. And a job candidate with a buzz going is only the tip of the interview-blunder iceberg.

Following are actual examples from hiring managers about the strangest job candidates they’ve encountered.

  • Candidate provided a detailed listing of how previous employer made them mad.
  • Candidate hugged hiring manager at the end of the interview.
  • Candidate ate all the candy from the candy bowl while trying to answer questions

By in Interviewing, Selection, Survey Results, Talent Acquisition

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