There’s this oft-cited quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And not to get overly philosophical, but I think the saying is pretty fitting for the average workplace… especially among those vying for elite tech talent. You know where I’m going with this? Yep, we’re talking about your employer brand.
Sure, this topic’s been covered before—but as is often the case, the second you get comfortable with your message, boom, the whole hiring market changes. That’s why it’s so important to take a moment for self-reflection every once in a while. It allows you to assess where you stand as an individual, as a tech recruiter, and as part of a larger organization.
So, to help you infuse some innovation into your workflow, we reached out to tech recruiting pros to find out how they regard employer branding in 2019. Consider the following tips:
Tip 1: Align Your Recruiter Brand with Your Value Proposition
“Strong brands speak for themselves, but embedded deep in the roots of every business should be a core set of values and beliefs that everyone can get behind,” shared Zoe Morris, President of Nelson Frank.
Morris recommends auditing your existing company culture and employee value proposition through a tech lens, especially if you’re actually hiring tech professionals. This will allow a recruiter to promote a mutual understanding of what’s expected from both the business and its employees in order to be successful. From there, continuously build, re-build or refresh.
Tip 2: Put Current Employees Front and Center
In every business, Morris added, the workforce should be the focal point of the culture you establish. People who are satisfied in their roles are more likely to stick around for the long haul, versus those who are not. A tech recruiter can take advantage of that fact.
At the same time, Morris said: “Remember, you can’t force culture. But you do want people to be proud to work for your organization. So provide regular updates on overall performance and reward your team every time they for going beyond the call of duty.” This can help you provide meaningful recognition to your team members, a crucial step in mitigating burnout and retaining your tech professionals.
Tip 3: Use Data to Understand the Tech Community
Marketers can’t effectively sell a product without first understanding who they’re selling to. The same goes for tech recruiting. In an effort to learn about their ideal candidates, Anthony Onesto, Chief People Officer at Suzy, and team recently asked software developers what they find annoying, exhausting, interesting and exciting about the process of searching for a new job. Many responded positively, while others expressed frustration with recruiting, specifically around broken processes.
For instance, words such as “interview” came near the top for both annoying and exhausting. These are essential insights for organizations looking to understand tech candidates and improve their employer brand. Pull together some data and see what your applicants think.
Tip 4: Dive into Your Talent Pool
Samuel Johns, Hiring Manager and Hire Specialist at Resume Genius, suggests it pays to get out there and interact with tech candidates wherever they actually spend their time. Learn how they talk about themselves, their work and their experiences looking for jobs. Both online and in the “real world,” these candidates are communicating, offering you the opportunity to insert yourself into their day.
Johns says that, since he’s hiring young graduates with the latest tech skills, he hits channels where these candidates go including Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit. But remember: when you're a recruiter, authenticity is key.
Tip 5: Appoint a Recruiting Community Manager
No doubt you’ve heard about the many connections between HR and marketing. But before you sigh and grumble, consider how marketing gets their leads. There’s a science to it—one that tech recruiting can leverage to its advantage. With that in mind, Onesto explains that tech recruiters need to “build a community and deliver value to that community in some way.” He even proposes the idea of hiring a community manager specifically for recruiting (i.e., someone to develop inbound leads and nurture new connections).
Tip 6: Bring Your Whole Self to Your Brand
As mentioned above, authenticity is key. Sounds great, but what’s that mean for your typical recruiter? Onesto adds context: “Techies can smell B.S. a mile away, so make sure you’re not marketing to them, but bringing the true organization to the conversation.” The way to do this: “Care personally about each candidate and build an experience that reflects the same care.”
Tip 7: Measure Twice, Cut Once
At the beginning of the piece, we mentioned taking the time to figure out where your message stands and how it could be improved. While this is immensely important work, you don’t want to let employer brand detract from your other initiatives. Per Onesto: “Move fast, but with great care, with record unemployment, tech talent come already having offers on the table. This is not the time for bureaucracy.”
Maybe after that initial review, you’ll find your brand stands as-is. Great! Now move forward. If not, project-manage the update by implementing deadlines and milestones to meet.
Tip 8: Make Sure All Employees Know the Company Elevator Pitch
If this one sounds familiar, it’s because it remains highly relevant. Morris sums this up: “People are your biggest asset. Without them, you won’t have the capacity to remain competitive in the tech recruitment space, so you need to recruit, motivate and retain exceptional people who’ll complement what you’re trying to achieve.” As such, make sure they can answer “What do you do?” in every social situation they encounter—that they’re able to clearly and concisely answer the question while positively reflecting your organization.
Noel Cocca is the founder and CEO of RecruitingDaily and its merry band of rabble-rousers. He aims to produce at the sweet spot between content and actual awareness by creating great work for living, breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. He works to ease problems, both large and small, from startups to enterprises.