Getting a Grip on Recruitment Marketing Part 2: Telling Your Story
If you read my last blog, you already know that recruitment marketing is a lot like carrying on a conversation.
It’s not about closing the deal with your best candidate; that comes later. Instead, recruitment marketing is about getting to know the candidates who are out there right now—and letting them get to know you.
This is a chance to tell your authentic story. If you show people what life is really like at your organization, they can decide whether it’s a good fit or not. And for the right candidates, this is where their interest grows from simply being aware of your company to becoming strongly attracted to it.
So what do I mean by your authentic story and how do you go about telling it? Well, it’s not something you just make up. Your authentic story flows directly out of your corporate culture—the collective personality of the organization. Every company has one (whether they’re aware of it or not) and they are as unique and powerful as the differences between individual people.
Our job is to help you discover, understand and articulate your culture. To do this, we look at three things: rational facts, emotional truths and personality. Rational facts are found in things like your website, annual reports, mission/vision/value statements, employee manuals, and any icons or traditions of the company. Emotional truths are the deeper insights, unspoken codes and unconscious elements of what life is like at your company: what is sacred, what is taboo, what is considered the right way to think, feel and act beyond just doing your job. Emotional truths also explain what motivates people in your organization and what will make them feel fulfilled and happy so they can be more productive.
Then comes personality. This is about the feel of the place, the charisma, the vibe. It’s the thing that will attract some people and put others off. Personality can be difficult to put your finger on, but it makes all the difference when you get it right.
These three elements combine to form your “cultural essence”—the foundation of your internal (or employment) brand. You already know about your external (or consumer) brand. This is the message that comes from your marketing department or advertising agency. It tells consumers “why you should buy from us.” The internal brand, on the other hand, tells candidates “why you should work for us.” The internal and external brands are complementary, but they can be quite different.
Once you clearly understand your organizational culture and start communicating it with an authentic internal brand, you attract the right people almost automatically. Candidates are empowered to self-select in or out of your hiring process. You will likely see fewer unqualified applicants and the quality of your candidate pool usually goes up. Recruitment costs typically drop and you can even start discovering new sources of talent. When you share this story internally, it can even help to re-recruit and energize the talent you already have on staff.
Once you clearly understand your organizational culture and start communicating it with an authentic internal brand, you attract the right people almost automatically.
This is a powerful asset, and the more you use it, the more you will benefit. With your authentic story as a guide, start filling your recruitment marketing ecosystem with rich, transparent and exciting content that sparks awareness and gets candidates involved. Give them a sneak peak into your culture. Don’t just focus on job roles—share stories about people and culture. When you do, you will leave candidates feeling that they know who you are and what it’s like to work there. This is the kind of experience people want to talk about, which drives word of mouth—a real brand-builder.
Of course, with so much that you want to say, the next question is where to say it. Make sure to choose channels and tactics that work together to achieve your recruitment objectives. Obviously you want to be where people will find you when they are looking for a job. But more and more, you want to be wherever the candidates are, whether they are actively looking for a job or not. Continue onto my next blog where I discuss where to find the people you want and how to choose tactics that will get them more involved with your internal brand.