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There’s so much about work that’s forgettable – the monotony of the commute, the coffee, and the routines. It’s pretty easy to click and clone the day away until it’s time to leave. Even on TV, the continuity of work is emphasized and acclaimed. There are a million TV moments to mock it, including the entire series of “The Office.”

In fairness, work was never set up to be a cool place. It’s not like work lost the edge. Workplaces have evolved from the farm (boring) to factories (not safe), from door-to-door (until serial killers, of course) to cubicle farms that make concrete walls seem interesting. No one was ever going to work because they were “inspired by the space.” 

What makes work worth it are the people. When I think back on jobs, I forget about the logistics. I forget about the terrible commute and the late nights. I never forget the influential people who taught, shared and changed my career. 

Those people stood out not just because of their talk, but their talent. They brought skills to the table that enriched the entire team and every outcome. What impressed me most was the foresight of leadership to know what those skills were, and how they combined to make a team that could take on any task. 

Hiring the right skills is critical to excellent employer brand content.

That combination of skills is particularly important on employer brand teams. 

When you’re building a marketing team, you find specialists, generalists and voila—team made. The mix for a recruitment marketing or employer brand team isn’t so obvious or well-mapped. We’re all just figuring it out as we go, and as more people than ever hire recruitment marketing and employer brand teams to tell their stories, there are more questions every day about what skills you need to execute that vision.

Here’s what I’ve learned, the hard way in most cases. We don’t just need people who click and convert. We need people who understand what it means to be a candidate. We need people who can listen. It’s so much more than a tool or a tactic. It’s a transformation. To add complication, our teams are also far more lean than most marketing organizations. You need flex players. 

So, we got to thinking. While there’s no org chart we can copy and paste, and job titles might shift from team to team, the skills are the same. If we can master the story, we can create a brand. To do that, I believe these fundamental skills are the real MVP for hiring. 

  • Strategy. It’s really easy to get distracted by campaigns in the world of employer brand. To deliver focus, every team needs someone who can see the forest through the trees and stop the team from running in a million directions. They set the goals and make sure you’re on track to get there. This person is also the voice of the candidate. You must have someone in this role that will always ask the question, “Is this helpful for our candidates and employees?”
    • Core Skills: Brand amplification, advocacy, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, mobile, paid search, search engine optimization, social media
    • Sample Titles: Employer Brand Manager, Recruitment Marketing Manager, Social Media Coordinator 
  • Writing. Tone is the difference between good and great. You need someone on your team who can effectively communicate across written mediums. This person writes emails, job posts, career sites – pretty much anything a candidate will see. More vital than punctuation, they need to be highly empathetic. So often, the best content comes from listening, not writing the perfect sentence. 
    • Core Skills: Blogs, search engine optimization, website, social media
    • Sample Titles: Content Strategist, Technical Copywriter 
  • Event Planning. You need someone who can show up and throw a party (online or IRL) that people will come to – whether it’s for recruiting or employee engagement. If you want to tell stories, facilitate memory making. Look for event planning skills and a lot of creativity to think on their feet. I’ve found some of my best event planners in administrative and junior marketing roles.  
    • Core Skills: Public relations, event planning 
    • Sample Titles: Events Coordinator
  • Technical Flex. This is a person that can rework any excel sheet, then tell you why your click isn’t registering. They can go one-on-one with IT. If they don’t know how to do something, they’ll learn. They have what I call a “high figure shit out quotient.” I would add design, too. They’re highly skilled and really helpful. 
    • Core Skills: Coding/HTML, email marketing, graphic design, mobile, video production, search engine optimization, data analysis
    • Sample Titles: Designer, Reporting Analyst, Competitive Intelligence Analyst

All that is to say, you can teach technique, but you can’t teach compassion. Skills are so important, but how they care matters most. Teach compassionate recruiting leaders how to evolve their approach to everyday recruiting and engagement tactics—that’s how you get real recruitment marketing ROI.

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