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We called it the webinar of the month, and it definitely delivered. We collaborated with Glassdoor for the recent “The Candidate Journey: What Affects Their Decision to Apply” webinar, hosted by William Tincup and featuring expert recruitment marketers Derina Adamczak of CH2M and Marvin Smith of Lockheed Martin. Amazing, right? (You can playback the full webinar here.)

We were pumped to see how many questions came through from our attendees (AND how many people were live tweeting!). Here, Marvin, Derina and William answer some of the questions from our one hour, powerhouse webinar.


Can you share any tips on establishing and growing a talent network? How do they sign up for newsletters?

Derina: Building a talent network is really a long-term journey. We started our talent network in 2012 on our career site and Facebook page, and after the first year had 10,000 contacts. The next year we invited prospective candidates sourced by recruiters and previous applicants to join, which increased us to 90,000 contacts. We made a change this year, and we added the talent network form as an optional form to fill out in the apply flow. In one year, we have grown to more than 300,000 people in our talent network worldwide. Adding that optional opt-in is one of our most successful marketing turned recruiting tactics we’ve done.

With the talent network we use (SmashFly), we have the ability to send automated job alert emails. The candidate picks the type of jobs they are interested in and the location they are interested in, which means they are getting very relevant jobs. We have had more than 300,000 applicants from these job alerts and more than a dozen hires since June. This is one of the strongest ROIs we have from any source.

In terms of our newsletter, it goes out monthly to all of the candidates who opt in to our talent network; they don’t have to sign up additionally for it.

Marvin: We try to leverage technology to put the human touch back into the process. Whenever possible, we try to use an intersection of a feature of our platform and our people. A few things we found important to remember: you have to have consistent messaging. People sign up for our talent network if they aren’t looking for work right now, which means they sign up to receive information on a periodic basis: relevant, valuable content.

Rather than just a one-and-done email blast, we call, email, host events; we nurture a relationship with groups of people to be ready for current and future needs. That has been effective for us. We want to create opportunities with certain groups of people, like transitioning military, so we create a group to foster that transition. It is all about content―let’s talk about the things that are important to people, and let’s be honest.


How do you recommend implementing a candidate newsletter? What type of content should you include?

Derina:  We follow a 60-30-10 formula for our enewsletter content: 60% curated news from third-party source, 30% company news and 10% job information. Our monthly newsletter usually features one “people” story and one “project” story. We might feature a company award or whatever is newsworthy that month. We also include the most engaging post from the previous month on social media. We categorize every post we put on social media, and we see humor, recruiting tips, polls and third-party stories on innovation or careers are the best performing.

We do show featured jobs based on regions, but it’s our newsletter is not intended to be a job-specific. Printed, the entire newsletter is only one page. I read somewhere that human beings less attention span than a goldish, so we have 8 seconds for people to look at it!



On a limited budget and team resource, what is the best investment to most positively affect the candidate experience?

William: Ask people! Ask recent employees what worked and what didn’t. I’d ask candidates who have just been through the process or are in the process too. It’s the “start, stop, continue model.”

Derina: If you’ve never done the CandE awards, I would sign up for that the next time around.

Marvin: We have always been concerned about the candidate. The CandE awards sound hard, but it’s not that hard to go through the process. It’s free―and if you lose, they don’t tell anyone! But you learn a lot because candidates are telling you exactly what it’s like.


How do you respond appropriately to negative comments on Glassdoor? How do you get CEO and leadership buy-in?

Derina: If there is something blatant or incorrect, we will put a ticket into Glassdoor to fix it. If it is someone who is angry, we respond and thank them for sharing their response and let them know that their review is being shared with senior leadership. Getting employees to talk about what they like about CH2M is really the best counter of poor third-party reviews. It’s not fluff; it’s really first-hand experience of someone working at the company.

Our methodology is to monitor any user-generated content that comes through the web. We evaluate every review on Glassdoor for positive or negative sentiment. We then use the negative ratings to redesign our hiring process when possible.

Senior leadership started to pay attention to these reviews when we had candidates state that why they weren’t moving forward in the interview process was because of what they read on Glassdoor. Each month, we aggregate all of the reviews that come in and we categorize them share them with our leadership to discuss.

Marvin: I think Derina is right on in terms of not responding to angry commenters except to thank them. I think that is the most genuine thing to do. If it’s something that needs correction, we typically take it offline. If it’s true, then it is something we need to do internally to correct it.

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