Category Archives: Employer Branding

What The Heck Is Candidate Experience?

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Well, it’s that time of year. All kinds of new research reports are being published – the kinds of reports that we collect and never seem to have enough time to read. We’ve all got them on our hard drives. But here’s one you’ll download and read. Multiple times. The information is that useful!

Of course, I’m talking about the Candidate Experience 2016 report. It’s here! Talent Board, the non-profit organization behind the data collection, research, and report, has stepped up to the plate again. As background, Talent Board, was founded by Gerry Crispin, Elaine Orler, and Ed Newman, in 2010 to “recognize the candidate experience offered by companies throughout the entire recruitment cycle and to forever change the manner in which job candidates are treated.” Starting first with the North America market, it has since grown to include the United Kingdom, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), as well as the Asia Pacific region. I’ll share information from the North America market, but know that there are layers of data and analysis that are truly global in their reach.

For 2016, data were collected from 183,000 candidates who applied to more than 240 organizations who wanted to know what their candidates thought about their experience as employment candidates.

Broken down into three major sections – Attract, Recruit, and Hire – the data collected are fascinating. Within these three sections are subsections that cover the complete candidate experience:  Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing and Sourcing in the Attract section; Apply, Screen and Disposition, and Interview and Select in the Recruit section; and Offer, Onboarding and New Hire in the Hire section. Within each of these subsections the data and analysis (and case studies), are all organized with the following structure:

  • What It Is
  • What Candidates Want
  • What Employers Are Doing
  • Key Recommendations: What CandE Award Winners Do Better

This structure makes reading the analysis and report easy. Although 114 pages long, it’s easy to work through the material because of its organization. You won’t probably read this in one sitting, but its structure makes it easy to come back and continue reading.

Case studies include organizations like Capital One, CH2M, Delta Airlines, GE, Informatica, and several others. This is good stuff, folks. It shows how leading organizations are thinking about and executing on their need for talent in new and highly impactful ways. Charts abound and they are easy to read and understand, and easy to translate into new approaches and actions in your organization.

Perhaps the simplest graphs that create the case for attending to the candidate experience are these:

cande-report-2016

They create the critical business case for investing in the experience of your employment candidates – just as you would invest in the experience of your employees or customers. Pretty simple stuff. Simple, and hard to execute. The beauty of this report – and the attending webinars, awards, and activities – is that the data and analysis show clearly what strategies are working and what the impact of those strategies are in an increasingly critical market demographic:  your potential employees.

If you aren’t familiar with “candidate experience,” read this report. If you are familiar with “candidate experience,” get involved. The resources provided through Talent Board are extensive. Attending to the experience of your candidates could make the difference in your talent acquisition strategies and plans. And your ability to deliver the foundation for your organization’s growth:  the right people with the right skills at the right time.

 

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Filed under Candidate Experience, CareerXroads, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Ed Newman, Elaine Orler, Employer Branding, Gerry Crispin, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Selection, Talent Acquisition

Employer Branding Now

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Universum, the global employer branding and market research organization, recently published a new report on the state of employer branding practices. It’s good. If you’re unclear about what employer branding is, this report is for you. If you’re involved – at all – with talent acquisition, this report is for you. If you’ve created your EVP (employee value proposition) and are headed into activation, this report is for you. Because talent is everything in today’s hyper competitive global marketplace, employer branding is becoming a critical part of talent strategy.

The report, Employer Branding Now, is a comprehensive review of what leading organizations around the world are doing to become more successful in connecting with the talent they need. Without giving away the store, the following graph shows how overall investments in recruitment channels are shifting. No surprise that investments in social channels are increasing, along with employee referral programs and alumni networks. On the other side of the coin, it’s probably not surprising that print advertising is sinking rapidly. And while you may have thought job boards were dead, that just isn’t the case. But check out the third-party recruiter channel. Are you surprised?

Universum EBnow

Food for thought here, I think!

The report is the outcome of a yearly survey of approximately 2,500 employer branding managers from around the world. The respondents represent a wide range of industries, and include 100 of the FORTUNE 500.

The actionable insights that conclude the report give helpful direction to those in the thick of employer branding activation, as well as those just starting to work on their EVP:

  1. Create closer alignment between employer brand priorities and talent priorities.

  2. Fully leverage the power of EVPs to deliver greater employer brand focus and impact.

  3. Balance brand consistency with talent segmentation and local targeting.

  4. Invest in quality social media content (no longer a side order, now the meat of the day).

  5. Invest in analytics – effective employer brand strategies are increasingly numbers driven.

The report is delivered in a colorful and easy to read eBook format. It’s a good read with attractive and easily understood graphs and data points. You can get it here.

 

Full disclosure: I chair Universum’s North America Board.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Branding, FORTUNE Magazine, Global Human Capital, HR Analytics, Human Resources, Recruiting, Social Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Universum

Who Really Cares About Employer Branding?

Data Point TuesdayIn a recent report by Universum, a tactical view of how organizations are attracting talent and combating problems is given with some fresh insight. The report: State of Employer Branding is part one a four-part 2020 Outlook series, based on responses from 2338 interviews conducted in the winter of 2014 in 18 different countries. Respondents represented a variety of industries and job functions with more than 50% working within HR, 16% being the CEO of their respective organization, and 23% working for organizations with more than 1000 employees in the country. Universum’s report starts by posing a necessarily blunt question to its readers, “How long have executives argued over the need to make talent attraction a corporate strategy rather than an HR strategy?” Point taken, talent acquisition remains an ongoing point of struggle for organizations, but is a critical strategy for organizations to remain competitive.

March 10 2015 Talent Acquisition Concerns

As Universum makes clear, we’ve known this for a while, so what are organizations doing to step up to issues relating to talent? Let’s take a look at the meaty details of Universum’s report….

Talent acquisition and retention is a complex equation involving (among other things) talent management and development, employer branding, and analytics to measure effectiveness. Part of the problem with employer branding is where responsibility lies:

  • 60% of CEO’s feel they own employer branding.
  • 58% of HR executives, 63% of talent acquisition executives, and 57% of recruiting executives say HR owns employer branding.
  • 39% of marketing executives point to HR owning the role and 40% to the CEO owning the role.

Why all this variability? Universum underlines repeated studies that have shown CEOs don’t believe HR is up to the task, as well as studies that say HR itself is not confident in their current approach, or do not feel their approach is innovative. Greater stakeholder cooperation is another broadly identified need when it comes to employer branding efforts:

  • 70% of senior executives see a closer need for stakeholder cooperation in the next 5 years.
  • 77% of HR executives see a closer need for stakeholder cooperation.
  • 53% of CEO’s see stakeholder cooperation as a growing need.

Though this is an identified need, without changing CEOs’ confidence in HR to solve strategic talent challenges, HR will be hard pressed to effect change in this area.

Universum asked respondents about their employer branding objectives, and how these objectives will change in the next five years.March 10 2015 Employer Branding Objectives

Interestingly, of all the objectives listed, none earns much more than one third of respondents’ votes. The most critical need is “to fulfill our short-term recruitment needs” but is claimed by just 36%. This should lead us to ask why so few executives (and CEOs in even lower numbers) are prioritizing such objectives? Universum offers the following explanations

  • Organizations face a lack of clarity about which objectives matter most
  • There is a perceived lack of ownership for the discipline of employer branding
  • Employer branding is not viewed as a critical priority when organizations face many other pressing challenges

To better understand their commitment, Universum studied how organizations are currently investing in employer branding:

March 10 2015 Employer Branding Budget

Overall, we see that organizations are overwhelmingly focused on external employer branding efforts. KPIs, however, often measure almost inclusively internal factors (presenting another potential issue).

Organizations also face a perceived gap when it comes to the association between consumer and employer brands. Recently there has been a concerted effort to more closely align employer and consumer brands, yet when executives were asked how closely they feel these are aligned, the responses indicated there’s still much work to be done:

  • 19% say their employer and consumer brands are the same
  • 36% say “there is a connection today”
  • 17% say there is no connection at all

When marketers were asked this question though, the answers were remarkably different, with marketers much more likely to report a connection between the employer and consumer brand.

How do organizations more forward with an employer branding and talent strategy when there appears to be little consensus about how to do so? Universum’s report cites from PwC’s global CEO survey, which reports that while 93% of CEOs say they know they need to change their strategy to attract and retain talent, 61% say they have not taken steps to do so yet. The first step towards addressing “the talent gap” may just be to get organizations to accurately recognize areas of misalignment and differing perceptions. Employer branding, as we see from this data, is certainly one of these areas. Organizations must also commit to an investment strategy; as Universum states: “If talent is as important to competitive might as capital, it must be managed and measured with the same disciple applied to financial planning and management.”

This report makes me think we have a massive showdown coming between HR and CEOs. I don’t know about you, but I think I know who’s going to win unless something big happens. And the only thing big I see happening is Marketing swooping in to save the day. HR, if you think you’re hearing footsteps, you probably are!

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Branding, Talent Acquisition, Universum