Last week I spent the day in Chicago in a client’s office working on their talent acquisition strategy, specifically addressing the topics of employment branding, process improvement, brand ambassadorship and candidate engagement. During our brainstorming and planning session we discussed a number of plans and strategies, some of which would take months to build and implement. We also discussed a number of strategies that could be executed relatively quickly and easily.
Since Achiever and Strategy are among my top five Strength Finder Strengths, it’s natural that I wanted to dive in head first into the very involved and drawn out programs we were discussing, however, I had to remember this was not about me. While I knew the long term strategies and programs we were discussing would have great impact on their hiring and recruiting strategies, I knew we needed some small wins from that low hanging fruit to begin to build momentum, win support from key players within the organization and build credibility.
Low Hanging Recruiting Fruit
If there’s one thing I’ve learned working as a consultant in HR and recruiting, it’s that the business world and workplace is one huge chess game. But people need to see results. And while my long term strategy might revolutionize their hiring, my executive team needs to see some results, even incremental ones, to provide them with a sense of direction and peace of mind, so that they can feel confident in the plan, and most importantly, in me and the team’s abilities.
These small wins are what I call low hanging fruit and they are often overlooked because they seem small and insignificant, however, they can have an impact beyond HR and recruiting metrics. They help in other ways like rapport, morale and confidence, especially for those who might not be well versed in talent attraction, human resources or recruiting.
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Create Personalized Automated Messaging
Messaging can be as simple as an automated message within your ATS to your candidates once they apply for roles within your organization, however, I am an advocate of a more in depth and long term strategy that involves providing resources for candidates, sharing information and adding value. Make an effort to customize and personalize your messages adding fields to include their name and send those emails from a real email that includes your contact information and phone number, not some automated email message bot. The note at the end of your automated message telling candidates not to reply to this email really takes the experience out of the candidate experience on this one.
Help Your Teams Tune Up Their Personal Brand, Especially On LinkedIn
Since LinkedIn is the number one destination for recruiters to engage, post jobs and search for candidates, (as seen in the graphic above) talent acquisition teams can share not just LinkedIn InMail best practices to engage candidates but also how to optimize their social media profiles especially LinkedIn for best results when reaching out to candidates. Whether it’s a lunch and learn, online learning or formal workshop, companies can work with recruiters, executives and hiring managers on how to build their personal brand and represent the company best on LinkedIn. And to really make an impression, bring in a professional photographer to your offices to shoot professional headshots 2-3 times a year. Most of us are spending a hefty sum investing on LinkedIn, why shouldn’t we invest in our recruiter’s personal and professional brands as well?
Establish An Alumni Network
This can be as simple as setting up a LinkedIn network for recently departed employees. Invite those who have submitted their resignation to join your alumni network as part of your outboarding process. You can include it as part of your exit interview or survey, creating an employee template or as part of your employee termination process by simply adding it to your company issued information that is mailed to their home including COBRA information, 401(k) and standard information about their next year’s W-2. Personally, I’m a fan of all of the above. You need to communicate the invitation to your outgoing employees multiple times and multiple ways. It’s not enough just to invite them to the alumni network, you must also commit to posting information, asking questions, moderating the group and sharing resources at least 2-4 times a week. Who doesn’t love boomerang employees?
Create Recruiter Messaging Templates, Talking Points and Suggested Shares
Provide your recruiters, hiring managers and business leaders with suggested emails to send to candidates they want to keep engaged with but don’t yet have an open position to place them in. Include suggested talking points and social media shares to distribute on their social media accounts. Sometimes we forget how important those small touches can be because we are so focused on the bigger picture. It’s the little things and those kind messages that really make for a great candidate relationship. Help your recruiters out by providing them with ways to really engage their candidate beyond the status quo so they can look like rockstars for the valuable resources, information and insights they are sharing with your company’s candidates.
It’s low hanging fruit like these that can not only produce results, but it really help establish, reveal and most importantly leverage new and unexpected relationships within the organization. And who doesn’t believe recruiting needs more partners and champions within an organization, especially in the competitive job market we are experiencing today?