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Working in an industry that is constantly changing means learning something new every day. Lucky for me, I love learning – my passion is diving into trends and breaking down emerging ideas and testing those ideas to find what works.

Every week, I spend up to 6 hours of work studying consumer and recruitment marketing – examining data, researching trends and reading any article I can get my hands on. Yes, learning should be part of our jobs as much as possible! And no matter what I master, I consider myself an ever-curious, lifelong learner. I think this innate curiosity is what inspires me to help SmashFly create as many learning opportunities as I can for our Recruitment Marketing Tribe, including our Recruitment Marketing Certification, Transform Academy.


The Opportunity

For many of us, recruitment marketing is new. For all of us, it’s evolving quickly. With so many facets to examine, explore and debate, there’s a real opportunity here for us – the people who live and breathe this stuff – to help define what it means to be a recruitment marketer. These conversations are happening every day. If you’re part of the Transform Recruitment Marketing Facebook Group, you know what I mean – I’m sure you see debate among the members around some interesting, but nuanced topics  like: “Is it employer brand, employment brand or employee brand?” Last year, I tackled the difference between employer brand, recruitment marketing and recruitment advertising. It’s fun figuring out the answers with people who care about this industry as much as I do.

There are so many questions and ideas in talent acquisition and recruiting, but few definite answers. And there’s definitely no textbook. This got me thinking – how can we create a repository of the knowledge we’ve all learned over the years? How can we make sure our best practices are noted, remembered and improved upon? After brainstorming these questions with my team at SmashFly HQ, the idea for Transform Academy was born.


The Idea

When we set out to create Transform Academy, we had a few goals in mind. We wanted to create a common language in our industry. To empower the lifelong learners (like me, and hopefully you) to keep growing and innovating. To put a stake in the ground around not only foundational best practices, but also risk-taking next practices.

Although we were excited to go all-in on this idea, SmashFly isn’t traditionally a services company; we’re a software company. This program was a step outside our comfort zone, but I knew that we had the right people – both in our company and in our networks and in our customers – to create something epic. We talked to countless pros in our industry and did months of research. We worked with some of the best marketers and curriculum designers to help us bring our vision to life.


The Success

Before we knew it, our idea was out in the world and inspiring our community: a 9-course certification program – Transform Academy. It wasn’t perfect. But boy was it a leap in the right direction.

Even with this beta version live, we were still learning what practitioners in this space wanted from a certification program. After all, this was the first-ever Recruitment Marketing Certification. It hadn’t been done before. There was no playbook. We only knew we wanted people to love it, use it, need it, adopt it, fuel it. So we continued to collect critical feedback after each course and put it into practice to ensure every course was better than the last. In the end, this little idea of ours really resonated with people, and we certified nearly 500 Transform Recruitment Marketers (CTRM) in the inaugural class of 2017.


The Future

Fast forward to now. With a new understanding of how people want to learn about recruitment marketing, marketing and everything in between, we partnered with more experts in eLearning to revamp the experience. We refined the curriculum, modernized the courses, and even eliminated any wait time between courses. You read that right – thanks to your feedback, Transform Academy is 100% on-demand now.

If you’re anything like me, constantly pushing boundaries and dreaming up the future of recruitment marketing, we want you in this Tribe, smiling in your T-shirt (they’re super soft!), and proudly displaying your CTRM badge on your LinkedIn profile. Sound good? Then pull up your virtual desk and join the class of 2018.

One more thing – I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask for feedback. As you take the courses, don’t hesitate to ask questions in the Transform Recruitment Marketing Facebook group or hit me up on Twitter (@tparsons). I am so excited to hear your amazing success stories as you develop your own skills and strategies!

So, who’s in for the Class of 2018??

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