Every talent will have a candidate journey with their chosen and preferred companies. But every employer will not have a shared journey with talents they would love to hire.
Talents we pursue are in different phases of their career lifecycles. To maximize our business’ success in talent acquisition, we must understand and take these into account in our HR marketing activities.
The Candidate Journey of the Information Era visualizes how I vision this journey. My purpose is to guide HR marketeers and employer brand builders to vision their respective journeys as well as understand the immense impact information era has on our employer branding and talent acquisition success.
The constant information overload of the digital and social media era we live in, has changed our consumer behavior from “willingness to receive” into “attempt to ban”.
The Four Phases of the Candidate Journey of the Information Era
The simple idea behind this version of a candidate journey is to demonstrate how talents go through their journeys based on their readiness and their career and life related needs.
Just like customers buy when they have a need to buy, not when we have a need to sell. Talents apply for new jobs when they have a need to make career related changes, not when we have an urgency to hire.
The Modern Employer Branding Method©️ is built on inviting your ideal talents on this journey with your company. During this journey, through various employer branding messages and means, you will be in a better place to recognize and build relationships with ideal talents, until both parties are ready to discuss and make decisions about starting an employment relationship.
Phase 1 Winning the Attention
There is an old marketing rule about seeing an ad seven times before actually having a recollection of having seen it. Whatever the number of times it is, it is critical for us to understand why publishing something once is highly ineffective.
To be honest, ever since the constant stream of good, bad and ugly online content online, this number is likely to be even higher now.
Our brains are blocking unnecessary and irrelevant messages like there was no tomorrow.
It is impossible to start building awareness with an audience, who is not willing to pay attention to you or your messages.
How to win attention?
Attention can be captivated in many ways. Some of the persuasive techniques are ethical, some are highly manipulative and unethical. I do not believe in manipulating our talent audiences in any way. So you won’t be getting any dirty attention capturing tricks from me.
The Modern Eminent Employer Branding Method (MEEB) focuses on building trusting relationships likely to lead into a committed employment relationship one day. Manipulating one into such a relationship is unlikely to lead into anything good.
The MEEB focuses on using ethical techniques such as role reversal (talent is the hero in all messages), storytelling formulas, “playing with words”, triggering visual sensors, choosing different types of content from competition (“when others are focusing on shouting louder, you whisper”) as well as various copy writing techniques helping to capture attention.
Everything starts from understanding who your ideal talent is, what are their challenges, their needs, hopes and wishes for their career, and figuring out how your company can make their lives better if they worked for your business (The MEEB value proposal).
Phase 2 Building & growing employer awareness
Once you have repeatedly won the attention of your ideal talents, they are likely to become curious about what your business represents and could offer to them.
This phase is about building their awareness about what your business represents:
- Your purpose, the Why.
- Your customer promise and what customer problem your employees attempt to solve every day and how.
- What your leadership culture is like and to whom it is likely to be ideal.
- Your businesses long term goals and objectives and how those connect with possible career opportunities and paths,.
- About your values, your Modern Employer Value Proposal and so on.
These messages are informational in nature and the objective of this phase is to get your company as a potential place of work placed on the “maps” of your ideal talents.
Success is measured in elements such as:
- The total size of your audience,
- the portion your ideal talent audiences make up from that,
- how likely they are to position you in the “correct box” as an employer.
The latter means, if your business is a fintech-company, your audiences must position you as an employer of finance & software development experts.
Phase 3 Growing Affinity
The third phase is about employer branding in it’s true meaning. In this phase, the ideal talent -part of your overall talent audience starts to grow fond about what you represent. This phase is all about building and deepening emotional connections as well as nurturing ideal talent relations with your business.
The purpose of this phase is to transform your (employer image) from cool vanilla into roaring temperatures. Talents transforming into this phase will be highly committed to your business, highly likely to advocate you, speak on behalf of you, and become your roaring fans and recruitment leads.
In my own experience, all the talents I have hired from this phase have been and are extremely committed, loyal current and former members of my team, who deliver consistent value to our customers and my business. And what more, when it used to take 8-12 months of my time to train them into independent and productive consultants, it now takes 4-6 months. This means a huge saving in opportunity costs.
The purpose of this phase is to get your ideal talents to “turn themselves in” to you. You will start to know them on first name basis, with the help of social media.
Phase 4 Converting [into value]
The fundamental objective of this phase is to call your ideal talents to convert themselves into your recruitment leads. This will save you a lot of time and money in recruiting.
But, there are many conversion-steps through out the journey that we should not forget to call action for.
I label conversions as moments, when a cost we put into this work becomes an investment or any kind of measurable value for us.
The most typical conversion in HR marketing is of course when we call action to leave an application by deadline. The job seeker converts into an applicant in our process.
But there can be many other conversions. And the whole idea of having the conversion painted out there is to:
- Realize, a quality conversion never happens without the preceding phases.
- Remember to ask for conversions to turn all the hard employer branding work into value for the business.
Why not listen to this episode of Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast and learning even more about the Candidate Journey of the Information Era!
The accompanying podcast-episode
In the episode #6 of Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I will take you through the Candidate Journey of the Information Era, and explain what value it can bring you in your employer branding efforts.
Episode-length: 31:02 min
- How to shift from the traditional project orientation in HR
- What is and how to use the Candidate Journey of the Information Era
- The four phases of the Candidate Journey explained
- How the Candidate Journey impacts our HR marketing decisions and actions
About Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast
Building a Modern Employer Brand-podcast is a weekly podcast bringing you a modern breath of air into HR marketing and employer branding.
This podcast is dedicated to all modern growth companies and modern employer branding practitioners who want to really influence their talent audiences and add measurable value to growing and scaling modern businesses with HR marketing and employer branding.
Find the podcast on Soundcloud and Spotify.