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webinar Q&AWe recently sponsored a webinar with Brandon Hall Group on the “5 Key Components of High Performance Recruitment Marketing,” led by host Kyle Lagunas and our tremendous guests Marvin Smith from Lockheed Martin and Troy Heinritz from CDW.

[You can view the recording here.]

As promised, we wanted to answer some of the questions that we didn’t get to during our conversation. Thanks to Kyle, Troy and Marvin for providing these additional responses!


What are some types of content marketing that have worked well for you?

Marvin:  As we look at our talent acquisition challenge today, it’s not about finding the right candidates (we already have identified them), but more so how we create relationships with the right candidates so they consider Lockheed Martin as a potential employer. For us, content marketing is critical to provide value to our target candidate audiences, helping them keep up-to-date with the industry and continuously improve what they do.

One initiative is Military Connect, a LinkedIn community we’ve put together for military veterans to connect with other veterans, as well as Lockheed Martin employees. It’s been very successful so far. The community is now up to 3,032 members (started in January 2015) with 1 member joining every 26 minutes. But the key is that we continuously share valuable content with the community: We have more than 6,000 unique content shares. This has encouraged 50% of visitors to come back every 18 days, and the group will continue to be a resource we use to remain engaged with this candidate audience as the right opportunity becomes available.


How should I think about building my talent acquisition team around recruitment marketing? Should I hire marketing specialists for each of the key areas?

Troy: Most organizations are already moving forward with recruitment marketing initiatives, and as you build your team, it’s really about making slow, incremental changes to your desired state. I’d recommend checking out this Salesforce article on the adopting the sales model to recruiting.

Think about your sales and marketing teams and how they are structured. For sales, you have inbound sales, outbound sales, outbound lead generation, sales operations and sales reporting. And for marketing, you have specialists in social, brand, content, demand generation and digital marketing.

You’ll want to set up your recruitment structure like that for the long-term ─ that’s the real utopia. If you think about it in those terms, you should begin to adapt your recruiting organization to fit along those lines and create consistent and predictable results in acquiring the right talent.

[Editor’s Note: We just released an infographic on the “Modern Recruiting Model” available for free download.]


How do you track new hires and the influence of your employer branding channels?

Marvin: We are continuously working on tracking how our employer branding channels are at influencing both candidates and our hires. Two of the most important for us are Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

For Glassdoor, we use tracking pixel codes along with SmashFly, which tracks all of the activities on multiple sites. For example, this tracking indicated that 248 of our hires had visited Glassdoor prior to getting hired, with 139 of those hires returning to Glassdoor after being hired.

For LinkedIn, we work closely with them to better understand our reach channel-wide and specifically our Lockheed Martin company page. We continuously track how many followers we gain each quarter, and we compare our hiring data with this follower base. In Q4 of 2014, we gained more than 15,000 followers to our company page, and we identified that 33% of these followers were ultimately hired by the company. Now, this doesn’t mean our LinkedIn company page was the source of hire, but it does show that it has influence on the candidates we are ultimately hiring.


Is there a technical way to measure “source of influence” (i.e., how do you measure)?

Kyle: Now this is an interesting question ─ something I’ve wrestled with for some time. For context, my co-presenters from last week’s webinar (Marvin Smith of Lockheed Martin and Troy Heinritz of CDW) and I addressed the common practice of treating social media as a source of hire rather than a source of influence. While we’re hardly the first to make the distinction, questions like this tell me that the idea is finally gaining traction mainstream.

As I’ve said before, measurement is the key to high-performance everything ─ and social talent acquisition is no exception. The challenge, of course, is that capturing quantifiable data on how social influence impacts talent acquisition performance is incredibly difficult, especially without a dedicated system for just that. It’s not impossible, though. The most obvious example of the technical measurement of influence is employer brand sentiment.

We partnered with Glassdoor last year to dig into a specific component of influence: the employer brand. The report, which can be downloaded here, identifies three primary categories of impact, including Volume & Exposure, Engagement and Baseline Measures. By monitoring changes in each category, you can spot correlations, thus quantifying impact. To be sure, this requires a certain level of sophistication, but the most effective hiring organizations are already doing this. I think it’s only a matter of time before it’s more commonplace.


How would you internally research the key content to build an employee value proposition?

Kyle: There’s that term again: employee value proposition or EVP. A few weeks ago, I called out the fact that EVP is back in vogue, and I believe it’s strongly tied to this paradigm shift in talent acquisition where talent attraction has become as important as talent sourcing in effective talent acquisition.

Our research in recruitment marketing underlines the role EVP plays in building a compelling and unique employer brand. In short, an organization’s ability to offer a strong EVP is an indication of its viability as an employer of choice. But as many can attest (our internal research team included), building a clear and authentic EVP is no small undertaking.

We have research planned on best practices in just that, but for now I’ll offer some thoughts on what not to do: Don’t start by evaluating how your compensation model compares to other employers in your area. On that note, while it’s important to understand the role compensation plays in EVP, I find “competitive” benefits and pay are usually anything but competitive.

When identifying key contents of EVP, I’d recommend starting with what’s unique about your organization: the culture, the people, the work, the industry, the location. When evaluating new opportunities, prospective employees don’t envision themselves in the day-to-day. Rather, they try to imagine what their lives would be like working in your organization ─ how joining your team would change their lives (their routine, their commute, their work/life balance, their quality of life).

Although the process of defining and building EVP offers an incredible opportunity to stand out from the crowd, it’s likely you’ll uncover some things that are less than flattering. To that, I say this: “No pain, no gain.” Any of our Excellence in Talent Acquisition award winners can tell you that.

What best practices do you have for improving your employer brand?

Troy: At CDW, we are really beginning to focus on our employer brand and proactively manage it internally with hires and employees. Here are a few initiatives that worked for us:

Ten days after their start date, we ask for feedback from new hires on how they feel about the process and the company.  We also survey employees who have reached specific milestone anniversaries. These activities have helped us begin formulating our EVP by providing insight into new hires, as well as long-term employees who have chosen to stay at CDW.

We also ask everyone at CDW to add a review on Glassdoor, which has greatly increased our presence. While simple, we’ve found that consistently engaging current and new employees has helped us improve how candidates and employees see us as an employer in a positive way.

My organization is “behind the times” when it comes to recruitment marketing. Where should we start?

Marvin: It always starts with measurement. At Lockheed Martin, when we started discussing recruitment marketing, it was a desire to better understand all the initiatives and sources that truly influenced and converted candidates in our recruiting strategy. To that point, we were effectively “driving blind.” That’s why we finally decided on a Recruitment Marketing Platform. It’s helped us centrally track the campaigns we were already executing, with the added flexibility of tracking our future campaigns and needs. If you have a way to track your efforts, it will give you a feel for what’s working and what’s not so you have a direction on where to spend your limited time and resources.

Troy: I completely agree with Marvin. In order to make talent acquisition strategic, you need a way to consistently measure and use data to improve. At CDW, our recruitment marketing efforts, and in turn Recruitment Marketing Platform, have helped us centralize our data in the recruitment process and marry it to the data we have in our applicant tracking system (Taleo). It’s enabled us to see the full view of all of our sources and campaigns and the effectiveness of each in producing qualified candidates and hires. This data helps us better align our time and resources to ensure our strategy consistently provides better results.

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