Attracting talent – LinkedIn style!

Read more in my professional blog at: www.sonesson.biz

 

Why is the juice of LinkedIn so powerful?

Hello and welcome to LinkedIn. We have TONS of things you can do in terms of employer branding. It’s true. It’s almost amazing if you think about it. We have the ability to make your brand visible in such a way you increase attraction as employer, take a certain positioning in the mindset of your key target groups and drive high quality applications to your jobs. And when I say high quality I don’t ‘just’ talk about people being interested in your job with the right skill set, I mean candidates that do have that and being of the right recruitment profile. And guess what, we can measure what messaging and communications of yours that has true effect and attract more or less of those as applicants to your job.

Remember in the beginning of the 90’s when effective employer branding was seen as an advert in a magazine somewhere? Despite you had literally no idea of how many who had seen the advert and even less knowledge of how large a percentage of those viewers were part of an audience you -actually- wanted to recruit, it was seen as effective. No more of that! Building a strong employer brand is done in everything you do. It is not a cemented effort in a magazine telling of how you view women in career. It is in everything. The way you treat your employees could have ten times the effect employer branding wise. When happy employees tell the real story about the inside of your company at social media, the impact is amazing as the social networks start engaging with the user generated content.

Because users trust user generated content a lot more! That is what social media is about. So where do people come to share professional information and collaborate to grow in their profession? At LinkedIn of course. Hello and welcome.

 

Get that EVP in place!

So you’ve got that employer value proposition in place (EVP) and know what differentiates you from your recruitment competitors? That’s great. If your EVP could pretty much describe any of your competitors, then you still have some home work to do. But if it truly tell a credible, differentiated, true and attractive story about you then you have a great platform in place.

 

World Class Talent Experience

You’re used to talk about the client experience and how it is essential to increase revenue, re-purchasing from re-visiting clients and that a poor client experience would severely harm your corporate brand. You know what. I agree! It is very true!

When it comes to your Employer brand it works the same way.

What? You’re saying that placing a hundred job adverts at our corporate website, with little filtering mechanism, and 60 fields of information needed to be filled in for every application is …. not a good talent experience?”

As shocking as it may sound: Yes, that is what I’m saying. A customer wants to be impressed and will surely buy more if served a professional, clear, simple and engaging journey through your products and in your stores. If not, I am certain you’ll notice the amount of purchases made are less. The major impact of a classy customer experience is not only increased sales but foremost the customer telling others about how great his experience was when visiting the store which will mean increased amount of customers. Now, this is branding.

Employer branding is no different.

Everything has to do with your talent experience. Absolutely everything. A talent experience is the entire journey a talent will meet when engaging with you as employer. All places where a talent will “meet” with your employer brand is referred to as an Employer Brand Touch point. All of those touch points must be professional, simple and engaging – and foremost they must be in line with your values and your EVP. A talent must recognize your brand everywhere they go.

 

Example of a Talent Experience Journey

A talent experience journey could look very different. Partly the touch points you are using to your disposal will affect and partly which the chosen Key Target Groups (KTG’s) are for your employer brand strategy. But a general journey could look like this:

A) Johanna, a young professional and industrial engineer with a high interest in CSR, meet you at a seminar where you are discussing your views on CSR for alumni’s at a University. After the seminar Johanna talks to your representative and gets information about your CSR work.

B) Johanna is reminded of the seminar two weeks later when she notices at LinkedIn that an old study colleague, Jens, has changed jobs to you. Out of interest she heads into Jens’ profile and reads what he is doing with your company.

C) LinkedIn’s powerful targeting machinery notices the profile of Johanna and place an opportunity sticker to Jens’ profile, telling Johanna that your company always are interested in skilled engineers. While Johanna is not looking for a job at this time, she gets interested and when clicking the sticker she arrives to a personalized career page belonging to your company. The career page is entirely targeted to her as a person, telling her only information that has a high chance of making Johanna interested to learn more and to engage with you. Johanna might choose to “Follow” your career page if she believe the content is of interest.

D) One month later Johanna notices a job advert showing up, telling her that your company are looking for CSR experts. Despite being perfectly happy where she is, she can not avoid reading more about the opportunity. When doing that she’ll notice that she know a few people with the company and also see the LinkedIn profile of the recruiter having posted the job advert. This makes the opportunity become more personal and available and Johanna decided to look at your career page one more time.

E) Johanna heads into your corporate website and starts looking for more information about your CSR work and of what you actually do in the field. She notices the LinkedIn API at your corporate website and gets reminded that she already is following your LinkedIn careers page. She also Google’s: <Company Name> + <CSR> to see what she can find. Being pleased with the search results she heads back to LinkedIn and decides to apply for the opportunity.

As you surely notice from a very standard journey of a picky, demanding young professional, passive and not looking to change jobs – there are several touch points here.

You have the physical presence where your employees are your employer brand ambassadors. These are always the most important ones. They must be trained and living your values. Secondly, you must have information which is relevant and up-to-date for the target group in question. People want to know different things. Provide them what they want to know, not the contrary. Partly you have your full LinkedIn experience; having leveraged your employee profiles, your career page and your jobs are visible. All of them working in consistent harmony of reminding, telling and pointing Johanna in the right direction.

 

Key take aways

1. A world class talent experience means Johanna will find what she is looking for, naturally, being provided the information she seeks, when she seek it and easily helping her to find an opportunity of how she could be part of it.

2. A world class talent experience must be targeted. If Johanna needs specific information relevant to her own experience and career ambitions and she is served something else. Would you think she be as interested? Or should we perhaps tell it like this: If you are a customer in IKEA and are looking for pots to your flowers at home and when looking you are provided information about carpets, would that be a classy customer experience? I assume you’ll agree it wouldn’t. Again, same here. If Johanna wants to know what engineers are doing with your company and perhaps even in further detail: What are engineers in one of your specific business lines doing? Either you provide her with the information or you don’t. Fact is: The more personal and targeted you are, the higher the engagement and the chance Johanna will choose to apply for your opportunities.

3. See to that all your touch points are worked through. Your corporate website must be smart, simple to navigate and send the same “feeling” as you are doing at other channels such as seminars and at LinkedIn. A disrupted feeling will only make talents hesitate about you.

 

Communication and Interaction

It is not enough to have a party, a solid foundation where Johanna and others like her will be able to read more about you. What good is it if your party is a really tremendous event if no one knows it is ongoing? This is no news. Communication and attracting talents are pretty much like sending invitations to the party. And of course the party has to answer the expectations set by the invitation. There is nothing as uncool as failing to meet expectations. Also, in social media it is about to interact with people. To invite them to a conversation. Don’t forget that. The more you succeed with interacting with others, the more the engagement will increase and your message will get viral wings out in the digital world.

And equally important it is when writing the invitations –> Stay personal and targeted. Don’t just send some corporate talk out and assume that everyone will be interested in everything you say. That is not how it works. People will interact with what is interesting to them and with what will inspire them to grow and benefit a task, project or a desire they currently are looking into. The party must be targeted, personal and also the communication.

A talent receives millions of invitations everyday. And with that amazing amount of messages, marketing and adverts sent their way – in order to resonate through networks and reach the right one at the right time – you can’t afford to not be personal and targeted.

 

Tweak and improve – metrics to support

Finally some good news: We can help you improve everything. At LinkedIn we take pride in helping client performance. Our way of a world class client experience is to care for your results. We believe in creating economic opportunity for a global workforce. We believe in creating connections between people who will help each other out, by creating sustainable meetings. We believe in quality. And therefore, we help you to realize what works and not. Your content, messages, solutions and actions can all be measured to see what works and what could be discarded. By helping you being smart, being personal and being targeted – we also help talents to only experience relevant messages and opportunities.

That is why we care. Because we care about you.

Thank you for reading and success to you!

/Daniel Sonesson