…It Has Always Been For the People By the People
“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed.”
The ClueTrain is where the reality of today’s blogosphere and social media revolution were first predicted back in 1999. And sure enough, even my beloved – though often slow to ‘get a clue’ – recruitment industry is feeling the reverberations of social media. I am asked almost daily for tips on how to effectively incorporate social media to ‘create’ a ‘more modern’ employer brand that ‘gets it’ and resonates with the next generation of workers.
A company’s employer brand can not be created. An Employer Brand is made up of the relationships that exists between your organization and its employees, former employees, potential employees, job candidates, and even customers. These relationships, and thus your employer brand, already exist and cannot be contrived through marketing. However, it is the open and direct communications that are the hallmark of blogs, that if applied correctly, can strengthen these relationships through a deeper understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. These conversations and their effects on people are at the foundation of social media’s power – a vehicle that has the opportunity to effect lasting change on your employer brand.
When a company suddenly realizes that they are having trouble hiring in this increasingly competitive job environment, they seek out marketing professionals to come up with an ad campaign that will increase their flow of applications and hopefully hires. The result is often an ad campaign that attempts to sell candidates on imagery and messaging that are built upon ideals that the company doesn’t really live up to. You are expected to prove you mean it in today’s market by your actions and by answering the questions put to you by the marketplace. Given this reality, do you want a one dimensional print ad or job posting to represent you or an interactive forum where a dialog can take place?
In this way social media can be particularly strong as a transitional vehicle when you want to communicate that your employer brand is ‘on the move.’ You might create a more traditional aspirational marketing campaign about your company vision and work environment while simultaneously using your blog to let your job candidates know that you aren’t implying you’ve reached your desired state. By inviting your candidates behind the curtain, for a peek back stage, you give them the opportunity to see themselves in the part of making that future a reality. We appreciate it when people talk with us, and not at us, and more often than not, communicating that you’re improving your business will only give you more credibility. Credibility is the key to improving your marketing results. Just as you can smell a rat when interviewing a candidate with all the right answers, job candidates too are measuring your words for ‘company spin’ and making their own judgments and performing their own Google searches to find out what the ‘real deal’ is.
Good or bad, what social media can do is give an authentic view of your company – that can be shared and commented on at lightening speed. Social media can go a long way toward helping you begin the process of letting go of your perception that you are in control so that your people can connect and share real information. Companies that let go of their focus on controlling the message, and rather focus on nurturing the relationships that people have to their organization – will reap the benefits of their people using social media to convey your employer brand with transparency and integrity.
[tags]employer-brand employer-branding social-media web2.0 recruiting recruitment-marketing talent acquisition[/tags]