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Get free.🔬 (EBH#179: Police on my back)
A month focusing on free ways employer branders can make a massive splash at work.
Mission: Democratize Employer Branding (it is for EVERY company!)
If someone shared this with you, you should subscribe. Every week you’ll get a little bit smarter about employer branding.
Last week’s workshop where I showed you how to evaluate your employer brand activation to see how you can immediately improve things on your very next post was a smashing success.
So I’m doing it again. January 23. It’s free (you’ll notice that “free” is a theme in this week’s newsletter). Register here.
The Big Idea
I got sucked into a bunch of AI conversations and arguments last week, so let’s clear the decks and get 2023 started off on the right foot.
Idea one: When it comes to talent acquisition and recruiting, nothing has a better ROI than employer brand.
Yeah, I said it.
Most “solutions” are very focused. One tool shortens the work to negotiate interview scheduling. One tool lets you manage the offer writing process faster. One tool lets you spam more people. One platform pushes more people to your career site. One tool helps you manage warm leads. One tool suggests other opportunities to past candidates. And they all do what they claim to do.
But here’s employer brand making every single one of those tools BETTER. If a tool helps you message 50% more people with a 1% conversion, that’s a measurable improvement. But employer branding can increase conversion from 1 to 2%. That’s way more valuable. The same thinking drives more traffic to your site because you’re clear about who you are what you offer. It motivates people to book in a timely fashion. It is the message you push to warm leads that can be validated and keep people warm longer. It increases offer acceptances.
Nothing else (short of a massive spike in your stock price) makes that kind of impact to your ability to hire.
Idea two: The best way to maximize your employer brand ROI is to lower the denominator.
That’s an MBA way of saying that if you want to amaze your boss, you do impactful things that are least possible cost.
You know, free.
How you write your job posting. Your outreach message. Your ability for recruiters to record a welcome video and mail it to a prospect. Your ability to make a quick video about a team or project. The headline on your offer letter. The system messages in your ATS. What you put on LinkedIn. The slide that gets put into every speaker’s deck when they are presenting on stage. The three-slide deck you share with every hiring manager explaining the brand and how what they do should align to a few core ideas. How you respond to reviews online.
There are lots of free things you can do to ensure your brand is making an impact, that it is converting a higher percentage of people, that it is attracting more of the right people, that they are seeing more information that supports the brand, that it leads them to say “yes!” to the offer more often.
Idea three: To get more budget, prove what amazing things you can do with no budget.
When you don’t have budget, you might notice that there are fewer people there saying, “um… I don’t know if you can do that…” Sure, there are always legal and comms boundaries to understand and navigate, but when the work doesn’t burn a hole in anyone’s budget, you’ll have more freedom. And that freedom allows you try new things, to experiment, to do better work.
Beyond the sheer excitement of doing amazing work without a budget (what can I say, you knew I was that kind of nerd when you subscribed), when you can perform what seems like magic tricks for pennies, any smart leader will say, “wow… I wonder what they can do with $10k. Of $100k…”
Doing work without a budget the backdoor to getting a LOT of budget.
So for the rest of this month I want to focus on “free EB.” (Huh… that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? It just flows off the tongue.) Here’s the first one:
You can game the LinkedIn algo to get more people to see you job posts. How?
LinkedIn doesn’t know the difference between an amazing post and a junk one. So it shares your post with a small sample population of your followers (or your company’s followers) to see if people respond in the first hour or two. So if you can wrangle lots of people to like and engage with your LI posts in the first hour, the posts will get shared more widely.
Here’s how its done:
Write a good job post. Say something interesting and eye-catching about the role, something that would get a great candidate to put their coffee down and click the link.
Put in an eye-catching visual. For most companies, the image that usually shows up when you share a job off the ATS or career site has all the visual panache of 1993 clipart. So if you have a branded graphic you like, use it. If you don’t, go find something visually interesting over at Unsplash or same.energy that’s kinda/sorta connected to the post.
Pick three great hashtags. One should be industry-specific, one should be function-specific, and the last should say something broadly positive that’s referenced in the posting. Pick tags that have the most followers but are still obviously connected to the post. Posting #SocialMedia and #VentureCapital just because they are the two biggest hashtags isn’t useful unless you’re trying to hire a social media specialist for your venture capital company. For example, use #Biopharma #DataScience #WorkCulture for data science role in a biotech company where you mention how your culture is why you do exceptional work.
Tag the hiring manager and the company in the posting.
Schedule the post. Email all the recruiters and the hiring manager. Let them know that at such and such a time, the job post will go live on the company feed. They need to like and share the post immediately. If they say something on their post when they share, all the better. Ask the hiring manager to immediately ping their team and anyone who will do them a favor on Slack or whatever to do the same. Tell them they have one hour after publication to get as many people to engage with the post, liking and sharing it to their networks.
As people share the post, sign into LinkedIn as the company and like everyone’s shared post as soon as you can.
Keep an eye on the post. How well does it perform? This isn’t a fool-proof solution, but its a lot better than just posting a job and hoping for the best. Some days you get 50% increase in views for a few hours. Some days the hiring manager gets 100 connection requests in the 24 hours after posting.
To be clear, this isn’t my folder, but if you want to take a peek in a much wider world, this is where I would suggest you start. Trick: don’t look at one. Look at five. Notice similarities and differences. Notice how their perspectives seem to come from different places. It will make you a MUCH smarter brander.
4 Steps to Creating a Successful Agency Marketing System (you’ll have to translate this to “successful recruitment marketing” in your own head)
“When you do something that is guaranteed to succeed,
you close the door to the possibility of discovery”
- Milton Glaser
Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:
EVP Masterclass: Develop your own Employer Brand/EVP alongside other recruiting leaders in my next guided cohort.
Employer Brand for Recruiters: Video on demand to teach recruiters how using their employer brand properly makes them more effective. Group rates available.
Coaching and support: Email me and we’ll set up time to talk 1:1 about how I can help you or your company take advantage of your employer brand.
Cheers and thanks!
-James Ellis (LinkedIn)
Read Talent Chooses You for free from this open source Google Doc.
Search all 1,700+ links historically referenced in the article archive.
Here’s the 2022 version of The Employer Brand Manifesto.
220+ episodes of The Talent Cast podcast.
Where the subject line came from:
The Clash - Police On My Back
Swinging from the corporate-mandated happiness of Swing Out Sister, we have the most important band in the world: The Clash. Yeah, I could have gone with Rock the Casbah or Should I Stay or Should I Go, but this song feels more in line with what made the Clash so important in the first place.
Sandinista! is the double-album that their label didn’t want to release. Too long. Not cohesive. And what’s with these non-musical cutaways? But The Clash (being The Clash) pushed and made it happen, ringing in 1980 with an album that was way too polished and complex to be considered classically “punk” (I mean, the album starts up with Magnificent Seven which had oodles of echo and delay on everything and a bunch of chimes and bells right up front. It feels like it has a pinch of disco magic until Joe Strummer takes over on vocals), but their punk heart remains firmly in place.
This song is a cover of the 1968 song by The Equals’ (written by Eddy Grant who would later rock on to Electric Avenue), but this version just punches you right in the face. From the siren-like guitar to the layers of chorused vocals, this song has such great feel, like it was written to be played live in a stadium.
If you are enjoying the music, congratulations, you have great taste in music and/or you’re old! Just for you, I made a Spotify playlist of all the subject line 80’s songs I’ve referenced over the last year and a half. You don’t even need hairspray to enjoy it:
***This newsletter contains no ChatGPT***