Green Shoots. What do they mean to HR and sourcing? – Part One

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A 10-Step Plan. (In Two Parts)


watering_desertIs the recession over? Depends on who you talk to or where you get your information on whether we’re seeing green shoots or just weeds. But the fact is there are indications that the worst is behind us and we’ll be traveling flat ground until Fall, when we’ll start to see an uptick in hiring. So what does this mean to HR and specifically talent management? Time to use this six month period wisely and get your strategies in place for when it’s time to act.

How to get started:

1. Develop/enhance your Employment Brand
There may be a glut of talent on the market but top talent always has a number of options available. You want to make sure your company is among those choices. So first and foremost, you must make sure your employment brand is well defined and implemented/ready to be implemented. A brand is much more than a compelling graphic and a memorable phrase. The most successful employer brands take the connection between organization and audience to an empowering level – encompassing values, systems, policies and behaviors with the objective of attracting, motivating and retaining current and potential employees. Whether the message is translated for immediate gratification or stored away for long-term use, an identity has been introduced. A promise has been made. A relationship has begun. And you’re steps ahead of your competition.

2. Develop a Microsite/Talent Hub to implement your brand
Studies have shown that many HR and talent executives are unhappy with their current career website. That’s because a career website tries to be everything to everybody. An accountant will desire different information than a management trainee. A nurse will want a separate engagement than a pharmacist. The answer, just as it is in advertising to consumers, is in targeting your message. The way to do this is with a microsite/talent hub – a mini-website with content that is a highly personalized, detail-rich window into your corporate culture, environment, benefits, and opportunities for that specific hire. You’re essentially speaking their language and you’ll start to see a higher rate of qualified applicants in the process.

3. Develop Web 2.0 tools
What is Web 2.0? And, why is there so much hype surrounding it? In terms of recruiting, one of the best definitions we’ve come across is one referring to Web 2.0 as the “Writeable Web.” Web 2.0 creates a Web environment where you are no longer talking “at” your customers (or potential job applicants), but “to” or “with” them. It adds interactivity to your web content and a greater experience for applicants. Bottom line, you’re marketing directly to an individual instead of a faceless group. If you’re not currently doing so, be ready to implement employee blogs; social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; podcasts and videos; discussion areas on your career site; and more. They may not be a panacea, but collectively you’ll open up more sources and better engage candidates, in whatever platform they’re using.

4. Develop Email Sourcing/Candidate Relationship Management tools
A surefire way to target individuals instead of groups? Develop an active sourcing pipeline by finding your candidates (through your ATS/TAS, resume mining/searching, social networks, general advertising and job postings) and market to them on an individual basis by email. Once they’ve visited your career site, keep the communication going with candidate relationship management tools (emails, eCards, animated flash landing pages) to keep interest piqued. You’ll ensure a steady stream of talent that has been cultivated for when hiring does pick up and a “first option” for when a requisition needs to be filled ASAP.

5. Develop an Employee Referral Program
At its most basic level, an Employee Referral Program is networking at its best. One built on solid planning, organized implementation and smart data collection takes networking to the next level, making it the cornerstone of a world-class recruiting plan. Companies with best practice ERPs routinely attribute them to generating around 50% of all hires. An ERP should be in place and marketed to employees on a regular basis.

Want the rest of this 10-Step Plan for HR and Sourcing? Check back next Monday right here at Alstin’s blog for more.


About Mike Tedesco

Mike Tedesco, Alstin's Senior Vice President, a quick thinker who's incapable of losing his temper-even after being with us for more than 25 years, is a great sounding board. Mike's warmth, enthusiasm and willingness to help with just about anything make him one of the most trusted members of our team (despite his taste in music).