This is a series of Transform speaker spotlights ahead of Transform Virtual on June 21, 2018.
Alex at a Glance
Favorite ice cream flavor? Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip
Last movie you saw? The Shape of Water
Current favorite song? All of Cardi B’s new album
Team iPhone or Android? Android 100%. I love my Google Pixel.
#1 Bucket List item? To be on Jeopardy (But being an extra on Game of Thrones is a close second)
Tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into the recruitment marketing world.
Like many people in this field, I “fell” into recruitment marketing. I started my career building the employer brand at Waste Management. After a couple of years of focusing on one brand, I took a job with an agency to broaden my horizons.
After about a year and a half in the agency world, I decided it was time to return to impacting a singular brand, and that’s when I found Fiserv. At the time, their recruitment marketing function was in its infancy. They were a world-class recruiting organization that was ready to innovate, and they simply needed the right person with the right experience to live and breathe the brand, candidate experience, social media and recruitment marketing. I applied and earned the privilege to be that person!
Your title combines two realms of the recruitment marketing world – how would you say social media and candidate experience go hand in hand?
I think recruitment marketing falls into three buckets: employer brand, which is the visual identity of your recruitment marketing efforts and the measurement of their impact; candidate experience; and the social and digital properties through which the candidate experiences your brand. To me, social is one part of the larger candidate experience.
As marketers, we need to inject ourselves into conversations that candidates are already having, where they’ve having them, which a lot of times, is on social. That said, I still don’t think social is the answer to everything. I’ve found that a lot of digital marketers are afraid to admit the power of a handshake. In-person marketing is still important. To be an effective recruitment marketer, you need to broaden your reach and understand when and how your candidates use different channels.
Thinking back to your own job searches, is there a moment or experience that stands out as an incredible candidate experience?
Yes! The cake story!
Essentially, I was really on the fence about leaving a job I loved to take this new opportunity with Fiserv. I originally turned down my offer, and in doing so, made an offhand comment about wanting to be in a situation that let me “have my cake and eat it too.” Long story short, the Fiserv team convinced me to come into the office for one more go. After a day of touring the office and meeting potential teammates, I was given an actual piece of cake and a note encouraging me to take the leap. I was really impressed by this small gesture because it showed me that this company is listening, they care, and that they take the candidate experience seriously.
What is the biggest difference between marketing for a product or service versus a job or company?
I think the primary difference is the scale of the decision the person is making. When you’re talking about a job, you’re talking about someone’s life. With consumer marketing, you’re still selling a lifestyle in a way, but it’s a lifestyle of a fleeting nature. Recruitment marketing is more permanent.
I think you see more of an overlap with larger purchases – mortgages, vacations, cars. These are bigger decisions that, like a new job, have lasting impacts on a person’s life. When the stakes are higher, the decision-making process is typically longer, which means you need to employ different marketing strategies. Things like candidate nurture and relationship building become more important in these types of decisions than they would be in the decision to buy a t-shirt or a protein bar.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Over the last 9 months, I planned our annual HR meeting alongside 6 other associates. This meeting is a highly anticipated event every year. Fiserv flies people in to Atlanta for 3 days of internal learning, fun and the opportunity to connect with peers in the workplace. As well as being involved in the planning, I was actually the MC of the meeting, which was a blast.
One night during the event, there was a rooftop dinner and awards ceremony. In a huge surprise, my boss and I received the High Performer Award from my CHRO to recognize our efforts in recruitment marketing. Winning this award was the cherry on top of an amazing event, and I was proud to see my work recognized and appreciated at the highest level.
Why did you decide to speak at Transform Virtual?
I believe that the innovation we live and breathe can impact more than just our individual market. I believe that companies doing the right thing can change behavior. It takes more than just one employer stepping up to improve the candidate experience as a whole. I hope that if I can share things that have worked for Fiserv, it could inspire other companies to start making the candidate experience a major area of focus for them too, which over time, would help more people find rewarding jobs.
Biggest piece of advice for recruitment marketers:
So much of recruitment marketing is fun. It’s work that will get a spotlight pointed on you because you are creative, and you are delivering things that actually move the needle. Don’t lose sight of the backend while you’re working on fun, creative tasks. You always need to keep a pulse on what’s going on behind the scenes.
Be sure to catch Alex’s session, Stickiness as a Strategy: Fiserv’s Vision to Build and Adopt a TA Ecosystem at Transform Virtual on June 21, 2018.