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The following series is inspired by the amazing Apple Think Different campaign from the personal computing revolution. There are a lot of parallels between that era and the” talent revolution” we are experiencing today. If you want to get all the feels, check out the vintage ad here.

Every now and then, I stop working at the speed of light, look around, and see how much has changed in this glorious profession. And I love what I’m seeing.

There is an emerging group of recruitment marketing Troublemakers out there investing in making the career search easy for talent (I know: why would you ever want it to be hard on the people you’re going to hire?)). But for most people and most companies, it is hard. The Troublemakers know that if they make it easy for talent, they make it harder on their competitors who are unwilling to change. 

The Troublemakers are risk tolerant – which scares a lot of people in talent acquisition … likely even their own organizations. But their end goal is creating experiences that are simple, clean, elegant and effortless (four words that have never been used to explain the hiring process). Like the Crazy Ones and the Rebels, Troublemakers understand that how talent acquisition has been operating to date isn’t working well. They take the time to stop and look around because they want to take in, and adapt quickly to, the change around them.

 

The Troublemakers Focus on Experience

I know some trouble-making brands in all their glory: Nestle Purina is one of them (see their case study here). The company recently evaluated their 30-minute application process and then streamlined it to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Why? Because ain’t nobody got time for that. So they made a change.

We’re an industry that complains that we don’t get the right talent. It’s possible that we don’t get the right talent because 29% of people would rather wait all day at the DMV than apply for a job. In fact, last week, there was a trending topic on Reddit about how awful the application and hiring experience is. The Troublemakers know that the talent isn’t the problem – it’s the experience. They focus on creating a better one that reduces friction and gives them insights into the candidate journey. 

Studying your own experience needs to be a given. How long does it take to learn what you need to know about your company? How long is your application? What is your follow up process like? I bet that most of you will find that your experience is neither frictionless nor enjoyable.

And if it isn’t, why aren’t you changing it?

 

The Troublemakers Value Simplicity

As we grow more savvy in marketing techniques, we learn to focus not just on getting applicants, but generating leads. When it comes to lead generation, the Troublemakers know that if you want to generate leads, you have to break the routine of gathering as much information as possible. You have to prioritize what you need to know and design a form that is simple and quick.

When you ask someone to join your talent network, you don’t need all the information in a resume. Fiserv starts on a need-to-know basis: asking their name, their email and what kind of work they’re interested in. At this early stage, location may be nice, but it’s not required. The objective of generating an interested lead is to continue to build that interest over time and nurture the relationship to learn more about them. You can always gather more information through campaigns. Make it easy. Automate it.

 

The Troublemakers Adapt to People

You go, Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. They’re such Troublemakers that they allow people to submit a quick video of themselves as an application. A video! Compliance be damned, they know the people they want to hire are more than a flat piece of paper. They’re humans. They know they can gather more about a person’s potential, interests and skills based on how they talk about themselves vs. how they write a list of bullet points. 

And if that wasn’t enough troublemaking, they go the extra mile of publishing an email address and phone number on their career site (while other companies balk at the idea of speaking to real people). They know that personal, human touch is the way forward to building strong relationships with talent, who may also be customers. The Troublemakers know that respecting talent and making the candidate experience easier will drive their business forward.

As you evaluate your recruitment marketing strategy, take a hard look at the experience you’ve created for the people you seek to hire. Then, find ways to make it easier, even if it’s a little bit of trouble to change up front. You’ll be rewarded by an increase in quality talent. Talent who stays.

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