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Workforce Therapy Files

Apr 24, 2024

File 15:  In today’s file, the team is going to focus on how to plan and execute effective recruiting campaigns. There are 5 Golden Rules to consider, before you begin.

Molley begins with some stats about the podcast and the growth it’s experiencing.  Interestingly, most podcasts that launch never actually make it beyond 10 episodes.  It’s may sound surprising, but it’s true.  The Workforce Therapy Files podcast is on File 15 and continues to build steam.

Jason transitions us into the main topic of the 5 Golden Rules of Recruiting Campaigns.

The First Golden Rule – Creating a Plan

Beyond simply creating a plan, someone needs to own and manage the plan for the organization.  When the plan achieves its expected results, Jamie points out that it’s important to let your team and the organization know it worked.  Celebrating key milestones and successes is vital when it comes to encouraging people to continue with the plan. 

The Second Golden Rule – Do Surveys

If you don’t have a plan, you can’t execute it.  Molley describes a discovery process that’s needed to ensure you understand what you know, as well as what you don’t.  It comes down to communication.  Consider implementing a survey and/or small focus groups.  Involve key constituencies of people who are performing a certain activity, along with others who have decided to no longer participate.  You want to learn about the public and the internal perception of your organization. 

The next step is to ask the public and your internal workforce, “What do you think of our brand, as an organization?”  Are there specific things people enjoy or don’t enjoy about interacting with your organization?  However, be prepared for candid feedback.  It may not always be pleasant, but it’s important to get a reality check.

Implementing a social listening campaign is a great tactic.  Monitor and measure your social media channels for feedback.  This should also be extended to the various review channels where people rate their satisfaction with your organization.  You can purchase tools to automate this process.  Jason’s company, CrowdSouth, does this for clients.  Whichever way you decide to monitor the data, you need to have someone appointed to be responsible for collecting, interpreting and reporting the findings on a regular basis. 

Jamie points out the convergence of customer feedback and employee feedback.  Each impacts the other.  If the marketing team is exclusively focused on customers, there can be a gap between what employees are communicating in the feedback loop. 

The Third Golden Rule – Utilize Your Brand Ambassadors

Jamie encourages companies to pay attention to your brand ambassadors.  These are the people working in your organization.  Employee engagement surveys and employee sentiment surveys provide extremely valuable insights.  Reviewing exit interview data is also helpful.  The exiting employee is going to give direct feedback about working there. 

The Fourth Golden Rule – Publicize Your Positive Actions

Once you’ve collected and synthesized the data, you can apply it to your employer-branding campaign.  Jason cautions that you shouldn’t expect to necessarily acquire new customers or make a 40% jump in new hires, solely as a result of that campaign.  The goal is to enable you to make an adjustment by shining a light on your business and who you are.  It’s an opportunity for you to highlight members and departments within the organization who are having a positive impact on the company, it’s customers and the community.  Resist the temptation as leaders to try to step into the spotlight and overshadowing others.

The above-described process will help to prime the pump for the next step, which is a workforce marketing campaign.  This is where you’ll actually focus on driving prospective candidates to your talent team; your recruiters and staffers.  You’ve addressed some of the deficiencies, now you’re ready to encourage people to take action.  Now, you’re prepared to begin a recruiting campaign.  This may be to get someone to complete an application.  Maybe you’re just looking to generate leads for your talent team to follow-up.  Define your desired outcome(s) and implement the necessary activities to achieve them.

Molley raises a concern that when organization expend the effort needed begin building a funnel for talent acquisition, but fails to build the internal capacity to manage the incoming flow of applicants and/or leads.  It won’t turn out well.

If a candidate were to apply for a position, but never hears back from the company, it’s a significant failure.  You’ve now wasted significant money and effort.  Even if the person didn’t meet the qualifications, a decline letter should be sent.  However, that letter should include ways to encourage the person to continue to look for opportunities within the organization. 

Jamie explains how she’s take the step to pause a campaign to allow her to consider and follow-up with the leads she’s received.  It’s a chance to provide feedback and to direct those interested parties to other organizational resources to maintain their engagement, if not for this particular role, possibly from some future role.  Then, she turned the campaign on again and proceeded to continue fielding other candidates.  Remember the importance of the candidate experience for both the ones you intend to hire, as well as the ones whom you might hire down the road.

Understand that it’s okay to pivot.  Molley explains it an essential part of successful workforce advertising campaigns.  Resist the temptation to stay locked into the “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality.   

Jamie encourages you to pivot based on some of the feedback you received in from the listening campaign.  Maybe you fixed an issue that had been commented about by employees, on public forums.  She uses the example of a work environment that gets uncomfortably hot.  If your company has installed fans or taken other steps to mitigate the heat, consider making that known.  It’s a way to demonstrate the company cares about its employees and lets the public know this is a good place to work, by how you responded to the concerns of the company’s workforce.

Jason builds on this point by giving an example of how an organization can proactively communicate to the public what the issue was and how the issue was resolved.  Now, you have a reason to tell a great story that positively impacts the organization’s brand image.

The Fifth Golden Rule – Build Your Pipeline

Jason discusses Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).  It’s not always a simple platform.  Some large organizations have legacy systems that are required to be used, regardless of the flexibility or functional requirements. 

Jamie comments on this topic from an HR compliance perspective.  While the use of an ATS provides documentation for the company related to its recruiting activities.  However, it’s not a requirement that everyone go through the ATS.  As long as you have a way to document who has applied, how you marketed for open positions and whether they received a similar consideration. 

The challenge occurs where you’re using leads and require some type of assessment.  The lead needs to go through the activities required to indicate someone is a qualified applicant.  Your candidates must go through the same application process.  Anyone who has expressed interest in your roles should be considered a candidate. 

How companies approach the process might seem like extra work, but maybe it’s simply “different” work.  Jamie refers to a previous episode in which the team discussed how targeting people interested in Legos might uncover candidates who would function well in specific roles.  You’re either going to be weeding out unqualified leads or chasing definitely qualified leads.  It’s still work, but in this case, it’s different.  So, as Jason explains, you can often utilize a lead generation campaign to generate interest, before asking those individuals to submit the formal application.  You might have a better chance of converting the lead to an applicant.

Molley is seeing a situation in which the companies are filling all of their open positions.  That’s terrific news.  Now, it’s time for managers to shift focus.  You may still be getting inquiries from interested candidates, but you don’t have an open position.  You still need to build a talent pool pipeline.  Are there people who could fill the pipeline, even though they might not be immediately available?  You should develop a communication process to maintain their interest and engagement during the gap/delay. 

Environment and rewards structure are important factors in an individual’s decision to pursue a position with a particular company.  It’s also a factor while they’re actively employee with your organization.  File 10 covered some of these issues more in-depth.  You’ll be able to access related information in Files 8 and 9 via links embedded the show notes for File 10.

If you need help with pieces of your campaign, or need a team to manage the entire process, we are here to help.  Check out our contact information, provided below.  We’d enjoy the opportunity to engage with you and your organization.

That’s where we’ll leave the conversation for today.  Before we close the file, we invite you to reach out to us with questions, suggestions or other comments.  We’d love to hear from you.

Need Help Supporting Your Company’s Recruiting and Staffing Goals?

We’re here to help.  You can contact us via our individual websites, depending on your specific needs or questions:

·      Jamie Swaim, SPHR –

·      Molley Ricketts –

·      Jason Heflin –

We hope you found this file insightful and helpful.  Thank you for listening!