The term “talent community” is controversial to some, and overused by others. I’m not here to argue the term, but it’s hard to ignore the importance of having your top target candidates organized into groups you can easily communicate with.
To create more inbound interest in your jobs, you have to put your marketing cap on. You have to start thinking like your target candidates. You need to engage them on topics they are interested in being engaged on. This will help foster a relationship between you, your company, and the target audience. And the entire goal of organizing a talent community should not just be filling jobs, but also to build trust.
If top candidates are opting to join your talent community, like the content you send them, and trust you your company is one they will think of first when considering a new opportunity.
1. Don’t Just Send Jobs
Repeat after me…..”don’t just send jobs”. That’s right, if you forget the next 4 rules remember this one. Sending nothing but jobs will prompt the members of your talent community to turn you off, stop listening, and unsubscribe.
Top candidates who may be “passively” listening to what is happening in the job market are not going to read through a 3 paragraph written job description. Why would they? The only people doing that are the people already super interested, or the wrong candidates altogether. If you are sending written job descriptions to your talent community with any frequency you are wasting the candidate’s time as well as your own. Don’t just send jobs!
2. Be Relevant
If you have something interesting about the technical specifications of a new .NET application your company deployed, do not send it to your accounting audience. Vice versa, absolutely do not send messages about a “corporate” department like accounting to your community of developers.
You have to think like the audience you are messaging. The best way to do that is to empower the people in the department you are recruiting for. Ask the experts in that department: “What’s hot in your world right now that people will want to know about?”. Encourage those same experts to pen an article on your employee blog, or their own personal blog. Make it personal, and make it about the hot and interesting topics.
Now you are ready to send something hot and interesting to the specific audience that wants to hear about the topic. Be relevant.
Your people will increase your chances of a great hire.
3. Focus On People
Capturing the mission of the company is essential in selling your company. The best way to tell that story is through the voice of your people. Find the riveting stories, and share them with your talent community. Sharing stories of overcoming personal and professional obstacles helps candidates identify with the people on your team. There is no bigger selling point to a top candidate than your people.
How do you get started? An employee blog is the absolute best way to tell the story of the people in your organization. Create an editorial calendar that takes the pressure off of 1 or 2 people doing all of the work. Having a “buzz team” that contributes pictures and articles on a recurring (but manageable) basis is optimal.
The bottom line is making sure that real human beings that work for your company are the focus in communicating to your talent community. Focus on people.
4. Real-Life Work Situations Sell
Top candidates are wise to slick marketing messages, or the press release for your award as “Best Company To Work For”. What top candidates really want to see is what the office looks like, who works there, and how is the work organized.
When browsing a company’s Facebook page, the primary pictures you will see are centered on the company’s products and events. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with showing your products. It is a business after all. However, the thing that is missing from the majority of Facebook pages are photos of the actual office and people doing real work. Give your talent community an idea of what that is going to be like working at your company.
The key element that top candidates care about is authenticity. They know when you are pushing marketing material at them, and will turn you off. Engage your audience. Real-Life Work Situations Sell.
5. Send Awesome Jobs…Featuring The Hiring Manager
It took 15 minutes to film this video with the hiring manager.
If you recall, rule #1 stressed…”Don’t Just Send Jobs”. That said, it’s a talent community right? You do need to send jobs from time to time. When you do, you need to do better than sending a boring, old job description that someone wrote 6 months ago. With the technology of today, you have an opportunity to amaze this audience (the bar is pretty low). Take your smartphone and film a quick video, throw it in iMovie (YouTube has an easy editor too), and throw a soundtrack to it.
Your authentic, short message from the manager will far surpass any slicked-up marketing video or age-old job description. Some may worry that the video won’t pass marketing’s sniff test. However, ask yourself…does the marketing department know what top candidates want? Send awesome jobs…featuring the hiring manager.
Move Ahead With Moderation
As you brainstorm ideas, pick the best ones and create an editorial calendar. You want to communicate with your talent community, but be very careful not to over-communicate.
Creating a calendar that assures moderation is critical. It also distributes responsibility to other folks in your company who want to participate. You’ll likely need to drive the agenda, thus pay attention to the ROI. Make sure your contributors know that their message may get in front of hundreds or thousands of relevant people in short order. In turn, that group can produce several top notch candidates the next time their is a key opening in that department.
Lastly, make sure to have fun! Fun and engaging content about your team will act as a magnet. It doesn’t need to be slapstick comedy. It just has to be authentic, relevant, and fun.