A few weeks back I attended the first day of the HR Technology Conference in Chicago. I had an expo only pass to go in and see the vendors, and I was reminded yet again of the awkwardness of the current setup. At one point my friend and I were walking down the aisle and someone asked us a question, my friend answered, and the person started trying to steer him over to their booth. It was very strange and uncomfortable, and I am not a fan of that approach.
I completely understand that it’s their job to hit up prospects and get people into the marketing funnel, but we both walked away with a bad taste in our mouths due to that person’s “hard sell” mentality.
If I have no experience with your company, there’s a low likelihood that I will just randomly decide to stop at your booth. That’s why many vendors bring swag, but then they get annoyed if you stop and take some just to walk away again. There needs to be a time of building a relationship before the sales pitch, and that’s where some of these suggestions come in.
Can HR learn something from marketing about treating candidates like customers?
When I was at the Hire Minds event this past fall (more Hire Minds Summit coverage), the moderator asked me if I thought the Marketing department should work closely with the HR/Recruiting department at any time. My response was one I’d considered before, and I think it still applies now:
Of course HR/Recruiting should work with the Marketing department if they can. HR is trying to sell ideas internally. Recruiters are trying to “sell” open positions to candidates. Marketing is trying to sell products/services to the public. Why not work together when the opportunity arises?
Since then I’ve started thinking of candidates as customers. Most HR and recruiting pros don’t have a chance to meet customers of the business on a daily basis. They don’t get a chance to make a good impression for the company, provide great service, and do it all with a smile on their face. But they do interact with people looking to get a job with the organization.
What if they started treating those candidates like customers? There would be a little difference in that these customers are not always “right.” They can’t get whatever they want.
But you can offer them a sympathetic ear. You can treat them with respect. You can give them a clear, concise picture of what the hiring process looks like so they are not stuck wondering if their resume disappeared into a black hole.
I’ve learned that even if they are not chosen, candidates sincerely appreciate knowing the disposition of their application. It’s just a small touch that means so much to someone who has been out of work or looking for a meaningful job.
If you’d like to learn more about my philosophy on “high touch” recruiting and what it’s like being the solo recruiter for a small business, click here to hear about small business hiring on my DriveThruHR appearance from HR Florida.
AKA: How to use employment videos for social recruiting
Social recruiting is discussed often, but one of the lesser mentioned facets is video. While many companies know it’s something they should pursue, they don’t know how to be successful. Below you’ll find some ideas to pursue in the area of employer videos. Just a quick word of warning, I’m going to be technical at times, because the subject warrants it. However, I’m happy to help if your organization is looking to make a move into the video arena.
First off, you want your videos to be found when people search Google, right? That’s where search engine optimization comes in. It’s a methodology for getting your videos indexed in a way that makes them easy to find by searchers.
Five tips for Video SEO (search engine optimization)
- Make the video something people want to share (more detail on this below).
- Don’t dilute your videos by posting on multiple sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, etc.).
- Titles, tags, and descriptions are useful when uploading and posting videos online, but backlinks to the videos (with relevant keywords in the anchor text) are more important for search engine rankings.
- YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world and the #1 for videos. Use that to your advantage.
- If you’re using WordPress as your content distribution platform, create a video sitemap and submit it via Google Webmaster Tools. Every little bit helps!
Now, let’s elaborate on #1 above. That’s usually the first question people have: what do the videos need to be about? Well, there are several ways to go with that, but I like to think of two kinds of people when considering these types of video: customers and potential job candidates. Think about what they would like to know about your company and give it to them!
Five ideas for your employment video content
- Interview employees and ask what they do and what they like about the job, dept, or company
- Get staff members to discuss the culture and how that affects what they do.
- Ask employees to talk about their favorite benefit/perk that you offer.
- Film the fun, unique events that make your organization special.
- Create content that is outward facing and valuable to your industry. Hint: if you’re providing thought leadership and value at a level that entices competitors to link to you, then you’re on the right track.
This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it’s a great start to generating ideas that would specifically benefit your company.
Thinking about creating some employer branding videos for your company and looking for some help? Feel free to contact me if you’re looking for assistance.
This post on SHRM chapter planning and marketing is a piece of the SHRM Chapter Leadership Guide.
Today I had the opportunity to meet with the NASHRM Webmaster (anyone else think “webmaster” is the coolest title ever?) to go over some ideas for the upcoming year. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be starting 2010, and I will officially become the “Assistant Webmaster” for NASHRM. We both have some great ideas for making this chapter the best. How many other SHRM chapters are thinking about…
- Rebuilding the site with the user in mind
- Email newsletters