There is a lot of talk about the War for Talent, again. This happens now and then, typically post-recession or economic struggle. It is my firm belief that the War will never end and you must have a strategy for the War, not the battle. Most companies right now are fighting the battle – using a very old method of open job and close job strategy. We must stop thinking like recruiters and start thinking like marketers. What I am saying is that I suggest a push in the talent industry for a less process focused solution and more of talent relationship management.
Historically, applicant-tracking systems helped to develop strict processes around the system of recruiting, though they have failed to help in building talent relationships. This is why here at Big Fuel our recruiting strategy is called Talent Marketing.
Talent acquisition strategy is no different than marketing strategy. In marketing, a company is trying to attain new customers, while building loyalty, advocates, and brand awareness, plus manage customer relationships. You should approach your talent in the same way you approach your marketing – create communities, build content, drive engagement through digital properties and ensure that you continue relevant and specific messaging to the community.
Right now, there is NO strategy or solution to help you think or execute on Talent Marketing in this manner. There are solutions out there to help you do this from a customer perspective, but none that focuses on marketing to acquiring talent. So my solution? Take your current marketing solutions/technology repurpose them for talent marketing. This is how:
• CRM Tool – use this for your talent relationship management. The same solutions that manage your customers could be used to manage your talent or potential talent.
• Social Media and Community – build communities focused on talent. Use social media to engage with potential candidates through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Build groups, communities and drive engaging content that gets people excited about your employer brand.
• Email Marketing Solution – take the tool that you use to market to your customers with creative content, relevant information, specific call to actions, etc, and focus it on your potential talent pool or community that have “opted in”. Share great content, discounts, candidate referral programs, and then have a call to action to an event, program or learning opportunity.
• Web/Mobile – create properties that focus on talent acquisition. No, not your jobs page, but a page that has great content about your company, videos, the work you have done, “a day in the life” – specific content that gives your potential employees an idea about your culture. You can even connect them to your company blog, which probably has pretty good content already. In terms of mobile, most of these folks will be away from their desks when they engage with your brand, for employment purchases, make sure you have a mobile presence. You also want to think about creating specific apps that help potential candidates or employees engage with your brand.
• Traditional/Print – invite your community for tours of your office. Use them for testing of a new corporate site or client product. Send out cards, notes, letters, etc. Get them engaged, that if they decide to move from their current position, your company is already in their head.
I have no doubt that more and more companies will invest more resources and dollars into Human Capital Management, especially when we start seeing a turn in the economy, but the time is now to prepare the right strategy in the War for Talent.