Employer brand is a critical part of defining an organization’s reputation in the marketplace. Companies with strong employer brand are more likely to attract and retain top talent, which has a direct impact on the bottom line. However, employer brand initiatives that focus on making the company look attractive often fail to make sure the candidates are engaged with the brand. How are your candidates feeling about customer care within the hiring process?
Companies need to look not only at how they promote their employer brand, but also focus on how candidates respond to and interact with the brand and the hiring process. There are a number of effective methods for tracking how candidates see the employer brand – utilizing them as part of an ongoing branding process will allow your company to make proactive changes and respond to the feedback from candidates within the hiring process.
Examine Your Recruiting Reputation
Taking charge of your company’s employer brand requires the ability to answer an important question: What is your recruiting reputation? If you don’t have the answer, the first step is finding out how to get it. If you do know what your recruiting reputation is, then how are you using it to make sure you are connecting with the best available talent? The strategies included here are a simple way to start ensuring that your employer brand is deployed in the most effective way possible.
Companies that want to attract top talent have to do more than merely monitor the feedback from candidates – candidate reactions to the hiring process should be used to inform changes to the hiring process, as well as the marketing around employer branding and the employer value proposition. Even negative feedback from candidates can be useful, as it may highlight bumps in the road that can be smoothed over, thereby increasing future candidate satisfaction and improving the employer brand.
Candidate Satisfaction Surveys and Reviews
There are industry-wide candidate satisfaction surveys, like the CandE Awards, that track the overall satisfaction candidates have with the recruiting process and their interactions with companies during a hiring experience. These surveys and industry reports are useful for developing a benchmark to compare internal results to – but for that benchmark to be truly useful, an internal standard must be set.
Providing your own candidates with a satisfaction survey after they have completed the hiring process will offer insight into how those candidates feel about their experience with your company. This information can be used to refine the hiring process further, in response to candidate feedback.
Websites like GlassDoor that allow candidates to review their hiring experience are also an important way to gather data on how your company’s recruiting reputation functions in the marketplace. Since the feedback on the website is public, reviews may have an impact – good or bad – on the types of candidates that choose to apply to your openings. Use these review websites to do a regular pulse check on how your company is perceived by applicants and current employees.
Employer brand and recruiting reputation management must go hand in hand to create successful talent acquisition strategies. Companies that take candidate feedback seriously will stay ahead of the recruiting curve.
Beginning my recruiting career in the military, the experience and skills I gained there have continued to assist me throughout my recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) career. During my six-year military tenure, I worked on the HR side of operations— three of those years in recruiting. Based on my time in the military and civilian recruiting, I can see extraordinary benefits for companies interested in recruiting veterans.
While not a military recruiter in the traditional sense, I was responsible for working overseas and recruiting local residents to work on American bases. These local-nationals were typically government employees brought onto the base to work and to help maintain positive relationships with the surrounding areas. To recruit these individuals, I had to develop a strong sense of who could work well cross-culturally and in a military environment.
Upon transitioning out of military life, I joined Selective Staffing, the RPO company that was the predecessor to The RightThing. As a result of the strong recruiting and HR skills I developed through military work, I was able to assist the organization and its clients in identifying top talent across multiple industries. My experience with following military guidelines and compliance requirements, as well as working with diversity initiatives, contributed to my success in civilian recruiting work.
Why Hire Military Veterans?
There are many reasons that organizations should look at developing a targeted veteran hiring program – my own experience is one example, but there are countless other reasons veteran hiring is a good option for companies. For starters, military veterans come from a background that instills a solid sense of work ethic that will remain part of their character as they transition into civilian life.
Additionally, military work gives people a well-rounded outlook on business life. Military life can be seen as rigid and robotic, but service members are trained to be very self-sufficient, learn strong teamwork skills, and take accountability for a lot of responsibility all at once. It’s crucial for military members to be able to juggle various types of work, maintain training outcomes, and easily assess the big picture under high pressure – all characteristics that are invaluable in civilian working life.
Military service creates workers with a strong sense of pride in their work – veterans are comfortable working hard, long hours, and ensuring that the work that gets done is done well. Military work also enables veterans to leave with a good sense of when it’s imperative to take a leadership role, and when it’s time to follow the directions that were given. In a time when employers are scrambling to find experienced talent, military veterans offer a strong pool of candidates with prior and proven experience.
The saying “Look, Think, Act like a solider” is a motto used to help guide service members even through times when they’re not sure what to do. The phrase assists members of the military in building a high level of professionalism in any situation, a mode of working that helps reduce stress and improve outcomes. This attitude easily transitions into civilian life, where veterans are easily able to adopt a culturally-appropriate professionalism. Military veterans know well that you’re never off-duty in how you represent an employer, which is a beneficial quality in today’s interconnected social world.
Veterans offer pride in and respect for the work they do, bring strong leadership and teamwork to a company, and bring numerous unique skills to the table. Recruiting and hiring veterans is not only a sound diversity hiring option that will improve employer brand, it also provides employers with numerous business benefits.
Oftentimes in recruiting, there is a concentrated focus on the here and now since hiring managers tend to spotlight jobs open today and not those closed yesterday. However, oftentimes, the “here and now” becomes the foundation for many hiring manager/recruiter relationships.
It’s no shock that I often hear recruiters say, “You’re only as good as what you accomplished yesterday in recruiting.” While there’s certainly an element of truth to this, I believe it could easily be followed by, “unless you share your success stories.”
Today, hiring managers are like recruiters: they move fast as they multi-task. The downside to this is a tendency to focus on the here and now and forget what happened not so long ago. However, simple reminders can jog memories and positive recollections or examples can influence attitudes.
Make it a goal to share your recruiting success stories. Share them not only with like groups of hiring managers, but across all functions within your organization. Negative stories spread on their own as we all know, so find ways to share recruiting success stories through email, weekly calls, quick updates in meetings, weekly memos, and more. Don’t overthink and overanalyze how to share, simply find ways to do it consistently. In today’s highly competitive recruitment landscape, bringing in high quality talent is exciting and success should be shared on a wider level. Over time, this will help to better educate hiring managers, boost morale and can ultimately build better relationships.
As we pass the sixty day mark in becoming part of the ADP family, I can’t help but reflect back on what a phenomenal year we’ve had in its entirety. From securing a number of robust new deals, growing both revenue and employees by over 25 percent, and launching RightThingRecruit®, it’s been an exciting year.
As a company, we went into 2011 knowing that the economy was still feeling a significant amount of pressure, but at the same time, we saw a number of opportunities to grow our business and service offerings. The ADP acquisition has been overwhelmingly positive from all perspectives including associates, clients and potential clients, and the broader integration of a small and large organization coming together has gone smoothly. The RightThing will soon begin uncovering the benefits for clients as we incorporate further into the larger ADP footprint, and ADP now has a proven RPO leader to complement its current HRO suite of services.
In February, The RightThing was recognized by The Everest Research Group as a top RPO provider, receiving top marks in overall scale, scope and technology capability. We were also accredited for holding the largest market share of global RPO deals in combination with our partners, leading success in the large market segment as well as exempt employee hiring and leading the North American market with the largest client base. Recognitions like these are a true testament to our ability to provide measurable results.
As we move into 2012, we see many opportunities as organizations move towards all inclusive talent acquisition technologies and next generation tools including mobile capabilities, social media, employment branding, metrics and reporting and recruitment CRM’s. Our continued success throughout 2011 further validates The RightThing’s consistent dedication to work as a true partner with clients, and now as part of the ADP family, we look forward to raising the bar on proven HR outsourcing solutions.
By Michael Gruber, Chief Client Officer
Generally speaking, when turnover happens in an organization, recruiting is to blame. Consequently, talent acquisition leaders have to defend their capabilities, resources, processes and continuously look for a means to improve how talent is acquired, sourced, recruited, screened, selected, etc. Continuous improvement is rarely a bad thing so I will not argue the obvious good in such a scenario; however, my concern is the lack of a holistic vantage point for those outside of talent acquisition and HR.
When working to piece together the turnover puzzle, talent acquisition leaders often miss the ability to impact other key areas such as training, new hire orientation, business unit leadership, performance management and cultural assimilation. Thus, the cycle continues in which turnover reduction focus is limited to improving performance of an organization’s pre hire activities and efforts.
Today, it is vital for talent acquisition leaders to seek out opportunities to impact areas too often out of their realm post hire; after all, they are in a prime position to be able to speak to what candidates expect as they become new hires within an organization. This requires forming effective relationships with business leaders outside of HR and building the reputation of a strategic advisor, thus leading to the illusive “seat at the table” often spoken of within HR.
While many talent acquisition and HR leaders see this reality as a stretch to command such a voice outside of their primary responsibilities, start where it makes sense in the areas closer to HR including new hire orientation, hiring manager interview preparation, performance management and training. Then drive into other areas such as sub cultures within business units and leadership styles. To impact turnover, talent acquisition leaders must be the vanguard not only for pre hire activities and topics that impact turnover, but post hire as well.
By Michael Gruber, Chief Client Officer, The RightThing
From my point of view as an RPO provider, most individuals in charge of talent acquisition find themselves in a fast paced, under resourced environment. As a result, they’re more reactive than proactive when it comes to interacting with their Hiring Manager (HM) customers.
Oftentimes, feedback from HMs is in the form of uninvited complaints expressing dissatisfaction, or quick survey responses that tend to generate a low response percentage focused primarily on the very positive or negative outliers. While surveys can be a challenge to create, implement, score and analyze, they are an essential starting point to establishing a better relationship and understanding of the HM customer.
Today, I’m surprised at the number of organizations that do not allow HM surveys. Common feedback includes: “HMs will not feel these are truly anonymous,” “Only positive or negative extremes will reply,” “The organization is over surveyed already,” and “I can’t surmise much from a short survey with quick responses.” While these are all real obstacles that must be approached and thought through, the potential benefits these surveys provide when done right, outweigh the negative aspects, especially within larger organizations with big HM populations.
The key to success with HM surveys is understanding that the survey is only the starting point to discover similarities in customer feedback. All too frequently, this is where clients stop. In order to maximize HM surveys and avoid misunderstanding, additional follow up is often necessary in the form of one-on-one calls, focus groups and more. To illustrate this point, I’ve included the following case study snapshot:
Recently upon review of a client’s HM survey, Hiring Managers indicated they were unhappy with the amount of time it was taking to fill exempt level positions within a particular business unit. This was based on one question pertaining to satisfaction level with time-to-fill. To further investigate, the client took a sample of the HMs and contacted them by phone to discuss results. Through this follow-up, it was revealed that although the HMs felt it was taking too long to hire at times, they also understood the timing aspect due to uncontrollable variables such as low pay rate, inferior relocation packages, and very tough to fill positions in general. HMs further described that while speed was important, candidate quality and correct cultural fit were more important. While initial evaluation of the HM survey results caused talent acquisition leaders and HR to surmise that HMs were upset over time-to-fill, after additional dialogue, HMthe focus switched to other areas pertaining to quality of candidate and focus on improved screening for desired key cultural attributes.
The lesson? A Likert scale at times will only scratch the surface and possibly lead down the wrong path. The above scenario is a great example of how quickly pertinent details can unfold after taking survery results one step further. As today’s HR leaders continuously face a myriad of internal and external challenges, proactively building relationships with Hiring Managers through surveys and on-going follow up can ultimately lead to key process improvements across the board. Just remember to close the loop.