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You’ve probably heard about how recruiting is becoming marketing. Employer brand has to be a part of your overall recruiting efforts in order to stay competitive in the war for talent. Harvard thinks CEOs should own the brand. But, if you’re like most companies, your c-suite has their hands full. Getting them to drive these sorts of initiatives typically requires way too much time on your end.
Generally, sharing the story of life at your company comes with its challenges. Many times it means learning an entirely new skill set. It almost certainly means a lot more work. Therefore, finding the right allies internally and leveraging their efforts is imperative. While your marketing department has the skill set to help, their KPIs relate directly to revenue. And, even if your C-suite is engaged in your employer branding efforts, it’s doubtful they are going to take time to help actually execute a plan.
Enter the Hiring Manager
But, have no fear! Your hiring managers are the sleeping giants you’ve been hoping would wake up and help you build your brand. You just may not have realised it until now. Think about it: your hiring managers have a vested interest in getting high-quality candidate flow in the door. Many times, people are their biggest bottle necks to them achieving their goals. This means in order to hit their KPIs, they need more sales people, engineers, account managers … you get the picture!
What’s more, your hiring managers are proud of the culture they’ve built within their team! They want to shout it from the rooftop. Having a strong brand will help you sell candidates, and have a more personalised hiring process. They may also feel frustration at how the company as a whole (and their team by association) is portrayed on sites like Glassdoor. They want to build their own brand through content, events, etc.
Here’s your hiring managers can help to amplify your employer brand:
1) Get Employer Branding Budget
While your hiring managers don’t explicitly have budget for recruiting initiatives, they are usually great at getting budget approval. You’ve seen them in the past as they get money for the new tool they wanted, or the event they wanted to throw. They are great at getting in front of the right person and making the right case for budget. Get them on your side, and you’ve got a friend who can help secure budget for your new initiatives.
Start by having a chat with a few members of their team to figure out why they joined, and what keeps them there. These are the key themes that you want to get in front of new candidates. Once you’ve identified why people join the company, formulate a plan for how to communicate these (meetups, employer branding videos, better job descriptions, social, etc). Listen to this interview to hear how Kirby Collette, a recruiter at a fast growing Boston based software company, partnered with marketing to build their employer brand.
2) Now, It’s Time to Execute
Hiring managers are doers. The trick is to bring together initiatives that you can work on which help them achieve their goals. This will give you a partner in shouldering some of the work that goes along with any new project.
How about putting together a networking event for engineers in your city where your VP of engineering talks about how they’re using big data? You setup the venue, and the VP’s team can help with promotion via their network of engineers in your city. They’re also the source of content for these types of events as the things they work on every day are very interesting to your audience of potential employees.
3) Galvanising Your Employees
Employee authored content is what some would call the holy grail of employer branding. Talent trusts your employees more than recruiting/marketing, and employees also have all the information that candidates care about in their heads. But, unless you have a close relationship with them, it can be quite challenging to get employees to do anything outside of the scope of their typical day! This is where hiring managers come in.
Your hiring managers already have a close relationship with their teams. They are the perfect conduit to request survey responses, blog posts, videos from around the office, etc. Again, your hiring manger is saving you time, and making the process that much more effective.
Now that you see the power of your hiring managers, it’s time to find a project that you can work on together. Do a meetup, create a blog, make a video…find something that they can get behind, and that you can use as a case study for continued collaboration. Make sure to measure results so that you can use this case study to sell other teams on working together to build your talent brand, and get the best talent.
(Handpicked Related Content:
How to: Take an Effective Job Briefing from Your Hiring Manager)
Author bio: Phil Strazzulla is the CEO of LifeGuides, an employer branding software company that allows companies to quickly and intelligently create employee testimonials that convert talent into applicants. Phil has his MBA from Harvard Business School and was a VC at Bessemer Venture Partners.
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