By Jeremy Haskell, JobsInME.com
Fresh back from the annual fall ERE Expo, I'm reminded of the importance of a company's message in attracting and retaining the best talent.
ERE, which stands for Electronic Recruiting Exchange, is a global organization that brings together recruiting professionals to discuss the challenges and successes of recruiting in today's economy, using today's technology. Their blog provides access to a number of articles and services, and they put on an expo each spring and fall.
Despite the slow-moving needle of economic recovery, it's now moving in a positive direction and while unemployment remains uncomfortably high, the fact remains that the economy has added millions of jobs over the course of a year, averaging 200,000 per month. These numbers mean that the mission for employers to attract and retain top talent has never been more critical.
So how can you get top candidates to apply to your open positions? Messaging was the key takeaway from most of the sessions at this year's expo.
"What's in It for Me?"
How you answer this job seeker question is up to you and your company's employment brand. How will you communicate this message? What originally seemed to many recruiters as a marketing gimmick when hiring slowed during the recession, employment branding is now finally getting proper attention for its dramatic results.
Getting Good Results
Companies that use employment branding successfully tend to:
Treat their employees with the respect they deserve
Are willing to share their story through the lives of their current employees, allowing job candidates a window into their workplace
Tapping Alternative Networks
Networking remains the most powerful tool, whether you're looking for a job or looking for talent. And while many organizations have an internal referral program, few are taking advantage of another great ambassador asset for spreading their company's message: former employees.
Managing these "alumni" relations can be a tricky business. While you may not necessarily want to grant an interview based on the recommendation of someone who was terminated for poor performance or attitude, many of your alumni employees probably left of their own accord, and perhaps you were even sorry to see them go. By maintaining contact with good employees who moved on for opportunities more in line with their life or career goals, why wouldn't you ask them if they know of anyone who might enjoy working at your firm?
Some companies, like IBM, have gone a step further and set up "Alumni Networks" - encompassing everything from closed LinkedIn and Facebook groups to having annual networking functions or "reunions."
Get Your Story Told
It's time to be creative in your recruiting efforts. The landscape may be one of uncertainty, but you have the ability to control your hiring and recruiting efforts. Make sure you're telling your story in your words, and get those closest to you to join in the effort.
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