SmashFly GlassdoorOn Wednesday, I had the pleasure to co-present on a webinar with Glassdoor Talent Acquisition Manager Dina Rulli on the “Trilogy of Modern Talent Acquisition.” It turned out to be a tremendous discussion on the relationship between Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing, as well as key trends occurring today in the candidate experience and with recruiting analytics.

We received a lot of great questions that we’d like to answer here as well as share the Q&A for others. (I put together similar questions where appropriate below). Enjoy!

Q: Will you have slides and audio from this webinar available to us?

Yes! See appropriate links below:

“Trilogy of Modern Talent Acquisition” Recording

“Trilogy of Modern Talent Acquisition” Slides


Q: Do you have any suggestions as to how to get satisfied, current employees to review the company? Rather than unhappy former employees.

Q: How do you manage the “employee opinions” so that a candidate would be positively influenced by what he/she sees.

Dina: Yes, start a grassroots campaign amongst satisfied and happy current employees. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help. Glassdoor even has examples of emails you could send to employees to gently persuade them to leave reviews. Here’s a good resource on this topic:


Chris: I agree with Dina. There’s no shame to ask your happy employees to also submit reviews. We’ve done that at SmashFly and it’s helped our recruiting over the past 6 months as nearly every candidate that comes in mentions our Glassdoor rating (check out this humblebrag here.)

The real key is to communicate that you want employees to be honest. There are strengths and weaknesses of every organization and the best reviews include both. If candidates only see overly positive reviews they probably will get a little skeptical and will see it as inauthentic.


Q: How do you go about managing employee comments on Glassdoor, especially the negative ones?

Dina: The best thing to do is join the conversation. In fact, 69% agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. Even with a Free Employer Account on Glassdoor, you can respond to positive and negative reviews and give responses and updates on the actions on either incorrect info or actions you are taking to make for a better organization. Check out Glassdoor’s ebook, Responding to Reviews Builds Trust with Your Candidates, for some tips on dos and don’ts, who should respond and how often, addressing negative comments, and how to leverage positive comments to reinforce your employer brand.


Chris: It’s important to participate in the conversation. Much like a restaurant or business on Yelp, responding to negative reviews shows that your HR department is responsive and cares about employees. You can’t prevent all negative opinions of your organization but you can have a voice in the conversation.


Q: Will you please define R + RM = MR (What is MR?)

Chris: I realized that I didn’t explain this during the presentation. This formula is SmashFly’s view of Modern Recruiting (or MR).

Recruiting (R) + Recruitment Marketing (RM) = Modern Recruiting (MR)

We believe the disciplines and tactics of Traditional Recruiting (which excel in selection) plus Recruitment Marketing (which excel in attraction and engagement) are both needed to be a Modern Recruiting organization. And as I mentioned in the presentation, while Employer Branding is not included in the formula it’s a crucial foundation to all of these efforts.


Q: How important is it to have your analytics separate from your external ad agency?

Dina: Using an ad agency as a partner on your analytics is a great strategy, but also a luxury for many organizations. If the event budget is cut or you cannot afford an agency, it’s best to have at least the baseline metrics mentioned in this webinar in place so you are prepared for either ad hoc reporting requests or changes in strategy or budgeting resources.


Chris: I agree with Dina that an ad agency can be a tremendous asset especially with creative aspects around your Employer Brand. But from an analytics standpoint, we believe you should own your analytics and have full control of your reporting. This requires a centralized system (such as a Recruitment Marketing Platform) to track and measure all the initiatives you do internally alongside the campaigns and creative you get from an ad agency. It’s the only way we believe to have an accurate source of truth.

Most importantly, decoupling your media strategy from how you track this media is the only way to get a truly agnostic view of all your initiatives, campaigns and sources.


Q: Can you share where you got these numbers from?

We used a number of statistics during the webinar. Here are the statistics with sources:

85% of the Global Workforce is Open to new positions

The Average Consumer Consults 12 Pieces of Information when making a purchase Decision –

57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. –

83 percent of recruiters report that the power has shifted away from where it has been for years, the employer, and toward the candidate.  –

51% of candidates have buyer’s remorse due to an inaccurate picture of the job

70% trust online reviews and ratings as a source of brand info

95% are influenced by reviews from those inside the company

60% of candidates, on average, drop off at some point in the application process – Internal proprietary data via SmashFly (trust me, it’s true!)


Q: Great content, presented very well. How does the Recruiter get Marketing to buy in to Recruitment Marketing when they are so used to dealing with service lines, principals, etc.?

Dina: A key initiative for the Talent Acquisition Team should be positioning themselves as an extension of the Business versus and overhead Function or Administrative. As Recruiters, we directly affect the business (hiring key sales people that help the org hit revenue targets or hiring engineers that develop new technologies that ultimately generate revenue) and we must start to think of ourselves that way and lever up our worth with teams like Marketing so our recruiting projects are seen as part of the bigger company initiatives. In many organizations, this will be a complete mind shift that can take time. If you do not have time on your side, then look for alternative methods of marketing such as building out your Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles to depict real time openings, recruiting events, and company culture.


Chris: I’d like to answer from two angles.

First, about getting Marketing’s involvement in Recruitment Marketing – our customers have found that Recruitment Marketing is most effective when done as part of your talent acquisition strategy and performed by the recruiting organization. That being said, if you are just getting started with Recruitment Marketing, you can certainly leverage your Marketing colleagues in some key areas. From working with Marketing to curate and re-purpose their content to getting their help on messaging and Career Site design there can be a lot of synergy depending on your relationship. The most important aspect, however, is that you as recruiting should own these assets and the strategy. You know better than any other department the strategy it takes to attract your specific candidate audiences.

Second, about how to get recruiters to begin to running Recruitment Marketing campaigns – We all know that recruiters are strapped not only for time but resources, and adding new initiatives to their day seems overwhelming. However, the big takeaway here is that Recruitment Marketing done right converts more qualified candidates into the funnel faster, which makes recruiters’ jobs much easier on the back end. We are also seeing a boon in technology around helping execute and measure Recruitment Marketing as well as being able to automate where it makes sense. For example, there is no reason you should have your recruiters posting your jobs manually any more as there are tools that can intelligently automate that process. The recruiter’s value is in building the relationship, not managing technology.

And I know this is a lengthy response but we’re also seeing increased specialization in the recruiting function. For example, Talent Advisors are fully focused on labor market trends in key skill families and building relationships with business units and hiring managers. Employer Brand Managers are focused on creating and communicating the employer value proposition. Social Media Analysts help recruiting organizations to have a voice on social. I think this is a trend that will increase in the future with some team members focused on attraction, some on nurturing candidate relationships, some on converting candidates into applicants and some on screening building internal relationships with the key business units and hiring managers.


Q: What are some ways to avoid the candidate “ultimatum” you mentioned? How should we connect with candidates and capture their information without forcing them to submit an application?

Chris: This is in reference to my comment that many organizations today give an interested candidate an ultimatum: “Apply or Go Away.” Many recruiting processes only have one point of conversion for a candidate – applying for a job. Candidates who are not ready to apply have little means to connect or opt-in to a relationship with the company and most importantly the organization has no idea who they are.

The other major problem is that application drop-off rates are exceedingly high at on average 60%. So there is a bottleneck in the candidate experience journey of most organizations. Now some organizations are trying to address this by making the application process easier, which is one route and needed, but the other is to put engagement strategies before this process as an option to candidates to opt-in via a CRM or social.

While the goal of Recruitment Marketing is to convert more qualified applicants, it’s unrealistic to believe that all candidates are ready to apply today. With CRM and Recruitment Marketing Platforms, you have the ability to create landing page forms to put directly into the apply flow (which is highly successful) and on your recruiting assets such as your Career Site and social channels. Once captured the CRM should enable your team to engage and nurture candidates with customized content and messaging as well as automate some of these communications and alerts to reach out for your recruiters. If done right, it maintains the candidate’s attention and bridges the gap between when they are ready to apply and when you have the right opportunity for them.

Many organizations also use social to engage outside of the application and this is another channel that can help influence candidates with your employer brand.


Q: Typically, who “owns” the content or is there a content expert? A recruiter / Marketing person? Sounds like a FT job?

Dina: If you have budget this could be a fulltime time job, but for small to mid-sized orgs, they often do not have this luxury. The workaround we’ve implemented at Glassdoor is dividing and conquering. We have quarterly (sometimes more often) Employer Branding strategy meetings where we brainstorm topics we want to blog about, what content we want to post to social channels, how can we repurpose content that our Marketing teams are creating, etc. From there we have developed an editorial calendar and each recruiting team member is responsible for either a blog post or pushing some piece of content to our social channels on a rotating basis. With about 8 team members, we have almost 2 months between posts so plenty of time to prepare. Also, this is a great way for team members to break out of the redundancy of just recruiting and flex their creative muscles and stretch their skills.


Chris: It’s a great answer from Dina! I’d also suggest naming one person to “own” content, which doesn’t necessarily mean a FT job, but rather owning the process of curating and creating content and getting other team members involved. That being said, I could see this as a specialized role growing in talent acquisition organizations as the demand for qualified candidates and relationship building continues to rise.

Have another question for us?

If you have any further questions as you watch the recording above or look through the slides, just let us know. You can connect with us in the comments below or via social media below:

Chris Brablc (Linkedin) (@cbrablc)

Dina Rulli (LinkedIn) (@dinascucina)

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