That Little Agency https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk Sun, 01 Dec 2019 17:06:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 Our little story, part four. Farewell 2019, you’ve been a great little year https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/our-little-story-part-four-farewell-2019-youve-been-a-great-little-year/ Sun, 01 Dec 2019 16:55:43 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5716 With the halls decked, the bells a-jingling and our little Christmas party fast approaching, it seems that we’ve become a tad reflective. Reflective on what has been a really, really...

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With the halls decked, the bells a-jingling and our little Christmas party fast approaching, it seems that we’ve become a tad reflective. Reflective on what has been a really, really interesting year. So now seems to be a good time to tell our little story. Part four.

We’ve grown a great little client base

It seems that we’re rapidly gaining a reputation for being great people to work with. How can we tell? Well, people and organisations are starting to come to us. It seems that all the blog writing, presenting and hosting breakfast seminars is paying off. We feel very lucky to have worked with the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Leicester City Council, NFU Mutual, Nisbets, Pinsent Masons, Telegraph Media Group, Toolstation and Vectura this year. And on some really nice projects as well.

We’ve enhanced our team

We’re really proud of our associate assisted delivery model. It means that we’ve been able to work with some fantastically talented people across all our projects this year. But it would be wrong of me not to pick out one in particular. And that’s Oli Nitch-Smith.

We knew Oli when we were at ThirtyThree, and his knowledge of careers websites, applicant tracking systems and biddable media are unrivalled. And we are blessed to have him in our little agency. Clients love him. The design and development team love him. He’s been with us a year and we celebrated this milestone by buying a beer fridge.

Work that we’re proud of

We’re unapologetically a start-up, therefore every job we do needs to be impressive. It needs to delight the client not simply answer the brief. Which is handy because that’s the only way we would approach a project anyway. And our clients have given us the projects and freedom to delight them:

We designed, developed and delivered a careers website for Leicester City Council
We developed an employer brand for Toolstation
We designed, developed and delivered a careers website for Toolstation
We designed, developed and delivered a new graduate recruitment campaign for Pinsent Masons
We helped deliver a new website for Manchester Metropolitan University

They’re all projects that we are very proud of. And some of them have been recognised by our peers.

An award-winning agency

Our thoughts on the value of awards is well documented, but we certainly didn’t think that we’d be picking any up in our first few years. But we’ve got some clients whose ambitions match our own, and with the work that we’re doing having an almost instant impact, we had something to talk about and something to enter for awards.

What we ended up with was:

FIRM Awards: Best development of an employer brand for Hastings Direct – Winner (Website)
All About Law Awards: Best website for Pinsent Masons – Winner (Website)
OnRec Awards: Best corporate use of online recruitment for Phoenix Group– Finalist (Website)
Recruiter Awards: Most effective employer brand development for Hastings Direct– Finalist (Website)
Recruitment Marketing Awards: Most effective employer brand development for Toolstation – Finalist (Website)
Chip Shop Awards: Ad most likely to start World War 3 – Highly Commended (Website)

And we’ve just found out that the work we’ve done with Toolstation has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Employer Brand’ category of the RAD Awards. As would expect, we’re cock-a-hoop.

Not a bad little haul for 2019. Oh, yes and Mark was even shortlisted for ‘Recruitment Industry Entrepreneur of the Year’ at this year’s Recruiter Awards. Sadly, he didn’t win. But we’ve already seen new business enquiries coming from people who’ve seen us shortlisted or picking up an award. So, see, awards are still valuable.

Sharing some great content

If you follow us (or Mark) on LinkedIn then you’ll know we’re working hard to help people negotiate the subjects of employer branding, marketing, careers websites and meaningful data through our blog. That’s because we wanted to not only show you how to do something – such as build and launch your careers website and develop an employer brand, we also wanted to help you show the results of your hard work.

This year we’ve covered:

Google Analytics, your careers website and your candidates
Recruitment metrics, what you should be recording, how and why
Making sure Google can find your careers website and vacancies
Measuring your online application process with Google Analytics

All this focus on Google and measurement doesn’t mean we ignored employer branding this year. Far from it. If you have employer branding on your 2020 to-do list, you won’t go far wrong with our most popular piece of content this year.

Building your employer brand. A ten-point checklist

Written to help you plan and deliver your employer branding project it covered everything from getting sign-off on the project to deciding what awards to enter. Well, why not?

Saying thank you

It has been a great year. Challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. We’ve met some brilliant people, been engaged by some great clients, delivered some highly effective work and picked up a couple of gongs. Not bad really for our cheeky little start-up. So what better way to celebrate Christmas then by saying thank you. We invited everyone who had helped us in some shape or form over the past 12 months to join us for a boozy little lunch. No speeches. Well, maybe one little one.

What now?

We think that the next 12 months are going to be really important to the agency. We’ll continue supporting companies in telling their employer stories, we’ll deliver more high-quality (hopefully award-winning) projects and we’ll keep getting told by our clients that they think we’re brilliant. One thing’s for sure December 13th will be a quiet day in TLA towers.

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Measuring your online application process with Google Analytics https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/measuring-your-online-application-process-with-google-analytics/ Fri, 15 Nov 2019 11:23:14 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5692 I love a guest blog article. And so when I was recently talking to Louis Halton Davies of Web Marketer around his thoughts around the effective use of Google Analytics,...

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I love a guest blog article. And so when I was recently talking to Louis Halton Davies of Web Marketer around his thoughts around the effective use of Google Analytics, I was delighted when he agreed to share his top tips and considerations with us. Google Analytics is a topic we covered earlier in the year with a look at some of the key data it will give you and some tips on how to get started. If you want to get up and running, you can read it here.

In this new post, Louis looks in more depth at the range of data you can obtain from your Google Analytics account – just as long as its properly set up. And, as well as this blog, we’ve produced one of our little guides on the topic – and there’s a link to download that at the end of this article.

So take it away Louis …

Back in 2017, The Economist said that ‘the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’. And we’d tend to agree. Especially when we think that there’s a free piece of software that can save us all heaps of precious time and money. We’re talking about Google Analytics here. It’s one of the most underused and underrated bits of tech in the talent attraction world.

“Google Analytics is telling me that the majority of our applications are coming from our careers site?”

Sadly, if you look in your Google Analytics account and it tells you the majority of your applications are coming from your careers site (which most of them do) – it means something isn’t right with your set up.

I’ve seen hundreds of careers site Google Analytics accounts over the past four years and not a single one was setup properly. The most common offender is up to 80% of applications showing as originating from the careers site. This means that the most essential of tools, Cross Domain Tracking, hasn’t been installed properly. And if this isn’t in place what else could have been overlooked?

There’s no reason that a careers site can’t have the same level of mouth wateringly useful insights as an ecommerce site. But it just isn’t available out of the box. Not being set up properly means not being able to tell where applications are coming from. Instead, we should be seeing Social, Organic Search, Paid Search and referring websites.

What can you get from a properly set up Google Analytics account?

A well-configured Google Analytics account is an absolute goldmine of insights. Amongst other things, it will tell you:

  • How Google for Jobs traffic compares against job boards.
  • How organic social measures up against paid social.
  • What jobs people are searching for on your website.
  • New websites to advertise on.
  • Where people are abandoning your online application process.
  • Job page views by location, seniority and/or function.
  • Insight into the typical online application journey.
  • Number of applications by device.
  • What people are searching for on Google when your website shows up in the results.
  • How differently careers site users from different cities or countries behave.
  • Which advertising campaigns are working well (and not so well).
  • What can be done on your careers site to encourage more applications.
  • How fast your careers site loads – and which pages need attention.
  • How long it takes the average person to complete an application once started.
  • How many visits it takes on average before an application is started.

And so much more. Which is why getting your account set up properly is so important. Fortunately, we know how to help you with that.

How to get an Google Analytics account set up properly?

Step one is getting a Google Analytics audit. That Little Agency and Web Marketer have teamed up to offer a very good one. Moving forward this will form a key part of our go live process, but it is also highly useful for those whose careers website is already live.

Our new careers website Google Analytics audit is a 54-point checklist that works on a pass or fail basis. Each fail identifies an area that needs fixing. And cross domain tracking that we mentioned earlier is just one of them.

These points range from simple aspects like whether or not the code has been installed and whether the account structure is logical, to more advanced, technical aspects – like whether job boards have been grouped as a custom traffic acquisition channel.

Google Analytics can be overwhelming, so how do we make it useful?

Quite simply, you can use it to measure (most of) the same things you’ll be including in your resourcing reports. Identifying what’s useful and what’s not is part of something we call a “measurement plan”. Because exploring data can turn into a rabbit hole and a (very interesting) time sink.

We then use these key insights and KPIs identified by the measurement plan to build a data visualisation dashboard. This is then fed with live data from Google Analytics so you can log in at any time and see only the insights you need. With the option to switch over to Google Analytics and explore in more detail as and when you fancy.

In conclusion

Chances are that you aren’t getting the very best out of Google Analytics. Setting up Google Analytics correctly can save time and money by giving you real-time insights to make decisions with. And you don’t need to learn to be a Google Analytics professional for it to be useful. You just need pointing in the right direction. And we can help you design and develop a clear data visualisation dashboard to show you only the information that’s going to help you.

Need a little extra help?

We hope that you have found this little snapshot useful. But if you’re hungry for more detail, That Little Agency and Web Marketer have teamed up to produce in-depth guide to some of the mind-blowing capabilities within Google Analytics. Including what they are, what they do and why they’re useful.

Request a copy of ‘A little guide to Google Analytics for careers websites’.

Web Marketer are a boutique, digital marketing consultancy who focus exclusively on driving conversions. To find out more about what they do and who they have worked with, visit www.webmarketeruk.com or drop Louis a line at louishd@webmarketeruk.com

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How to plan and spec your Applicant Tracking System https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/planning-and-speccing-your-applicant-tracking-system/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 19:12:10 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5677 Most organisations have an Applicant Tracking System – but let’s just call it an ATS to make life simpler. It’s a piece of software that manages the recruitment needs of...

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Most organisations have an Applicant Tracking System – but let’s just call it an ATS to make life simpler. It’s a piece of software that manages the recruitment needs of the organisation and, if done well, also creates a great candidate experience and supports the employer brand. So, a pretty important part of your talent and resourcing strategy to get right – which is where this little article should come in handy.

An ATS really is a must have. If you’ve worked in any form of resourcing you’ve probably used one. The advantages it brings go way beyond the part that candidates engage with, it brings organisation, speeds up internal processes, protects data and overall reduces the time to hire as well as improving the quality of hires.

What’s not to like? Well, it can be a bit of a process getting it right and plenty of things to consider (and avoid) along the way. We’ve been around the block in the ATS world – we know many of the suppliers, we’ve helped clients choose the right one for their needs, we’ve integrated them into careers sites. Our tips are built on real experience, so let’s begin.

We’ve split this into two sections – we start with the planning stage and then look at some of the ATS features you might want to include.

Fail to plan. Plan to fail.

Ask the business what it wants. Often specced by the resourcing or recruitment team, an ATS is really an organisation wide system. It’s used by line managers, HR, IT and of course your candidates. So, it would be a good move to ask the business to tell you what they, as internal customers of the ATS, would like to see.

When you are doing this, it’s worth having at the back of your mind the issues that you hope the ATS will fix. What has bought this about and what improvements are you seeking to make? Does the business want a faster hiring time, a better process to share and feedback on candidates? Has candidate feedback told you that the vacancies on your current careers site were slow to load and didn’t really bring the roles to life? Was the mobile experience poor?

To get you started, here are a few things that we think your ATS really should have:

  • It should offer a data feed. Either an API, XML feed or at least an RSS feed
  • The roles should be Google for Jobs indexed
  • Ease of job board posting to multiple job boards
  • Mobile application – everyone should be able to access it on the go
  • Video interview facility
  • Strong data security
  • And of course a good candidate experience

Supplier due diligence. Like we said, your ATS is a biggie. So, you’ll want to find out all you can about the options – and there are a lot of them. We can give you some pointers but why not start by asking your network. Who do they use, what do they like about them? Any poor experiences?

There are free ATS systems out there in open source. They might seem tempting but the reality is they are free for a reason. There’s often no support, you can’t do your own customisation so you run the risk of serving up a poor user experience – internally and for candidates.

So, sit down with the suppliers that interest you and ask them them for their client list, their client retention rate, how long they have partnered with them, the specifics of how they have helped them, and see if you can ask their clients why they chose them and have stayed with them.

What level support will you need? How confident are you with tech? Once it’s up and running an ATS should be simple to use – but implementation can be involved and you might want some dedicated support to guide you through.

So, here are a few support related things to consider:

  • Does the ATS supplier offer a dedicated contact, with a phone number to reach them?
  • Does the software include FAQs or other documentation to help you use it?
  • Where is your supplier based – can you get access to support when you need it? For those less tech savvy, this might rule out an overseas supplier.
  • Are there training sessions for new users?

Set your budget. The recruitment budget is traditionally focused on the cost of attraction – ads, job board postings and agency costs. However, an ATS can bring savings that reduce these costs so, there is a business case to have some of the recruitment budget allocated to the ATS as it will pay you back with interest.

The first thing an ATS supplier will probably ask you is the number of vacancies you are likely to place. That’s because there are a variety of pricing structures, some of which are based on the number of roles, system users and the number of employees. If you are planning on  growth and doing a lot of hiring, you should state this at the outset to avoid a model the may cost more than it might have done.

Getting what you want. What you really, really want.

Can it post to multiple job sites and social media? What job boards and social media do you and your candidates engage with? Not all ATS solutions work across all job boards, particularly some of the more niche. You therefore run the risk of missing ideal candidates as they probably won’t see your roles. The more specialised the role, the far greater the likelihood they’ll be looking at sites within their areas of expertise. An ATS that only connects to the generic sites like Jobsite and Monster won’t offer the flexibility you’ll need.

How easily can you customise it and adopt your branding? We’ve all been on those careers sites where you’ve taken a little tour, read the content, maybe watched a video. It’s all going well and then you decide to look at the vacancies. All of a sudden it’s different. You just know you’ve gone to the ATS and what was quite an engaging process now feels very er, ‘generic’. You could be on any careers site. Just at the point where you want the candidate to be most enthused – it all goes a bit cold.

That’s what happens when the ATS isn’t very flexible. That’s why you need your ATS to be branding friendly – it’s a big part of the expression of your employer and corporate brand.

Does the ATS enable employee referrals? We think it should. Referrals are still highly effective in generating candidates who are likely to become warmly engaged with the business through the relationship they have with the referrer. The best ATS will provide you with a clear way to attract and reward referrals from your employees.

Does the ATS allow you to communicate with candidates, hiring managers and recruiters? No more unread emails to hiring managers chasing their decisions. The best ATS software allows you to communicate directly which better serves your internal needs and keeps candidates in the loop too. Poor communication can reflect poorly on the candidate experience and employer brand so always spec this in your ATS brief.

Is it mobile friendly? We hardly need to state this but even if you think your business is still largely desktop based, it won’t be forever. An ideal ATS will enable your resourcing team to review candidates, schedule interviews, leave feedback and check the candidate pipeline via the device of their choice.

Does the ATS give you recruitment analytics data? We started by suggesting you work out what you want the ATS to improve with your recruitment process. Now you need to measure it to help continuously assess and enhance it. You can extract resourcing data the hard way – by pulling internal data and chasing hiring managers but it’s hard work. So, although not all ATS solutions offer an analytics function, we think it should be included if your budget will allow.

If recruitment metrics is something you’ve been meaning to brush up on, you’ll find our recent article will make you an expert in no time at all.

Is there a free trial available? You’ll want to find out if the ATS can do all the things you want it to, but also how easy it is to use. The goal of implementing an ATS is to simplify and streamline the recruitment process after all. So ask the supplier for a free trial and make sure that the features it has (as good as they may be) are actually what your organisation actually needs.

In conclusion

Choosing an ATS is an important process and a decision that impacts your internal hiring managers, your resourcing team and not the least, your candidates. There are many options but there will be an ATS out there that will suit your needs. Finding it needs a clear wish list, an idea of the best suppliers and a lot of time. We hope this guidance will help you find the right one for you.

Need a little extra help?

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All designed to help you deliver measurable results. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around selecting your ATS, defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Building your employer brand. A ten-point checklist https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/building-your-employer-brand-a-ten-point-checklist/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 15:32:07 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5654 Our little blog has covered many aspects of employer branding over the past two years, from building the business case to measuring and evaluating results – and many stages in...

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Our little blog has covered many aspects of employer branding over the past two years, from building the business case to measuring and evaluating results – and many stages in between. So, it seemed more than a little helpful to tie it all together in an employer brand checklist.

Whether you specialise in resourcing, recruitment or talent – or are coming at it with a marketing perspective, we think you’ll find this useful. Your employer brand will be one of the most important statements your organisation will make in attracting, engaging and retaining your people. Here’s how to make it happen…

1. Get sign-off and build your team

Building an employer brand may make perfect sense to many, but this also has to be bought into by those who are signing off the project and the budget. To get them on your side, it helps to put a powerful business case. We wrote a whole blog on positioning the value of a strong employer brand – and gave a business case elevator pitch for your HR Director that went something like this …

“Our employer brand is effectively our reputation as an employer. Whether candidates decide to join us – or someone else – is often down to their view of us and what it’s like to work here. So, building a more attractive employee proposition will help us bring in more of the right people – and help us keep the great people we already have.”

Now, that’s a pretty powerful argument, wouldn’t you agree? But who’s going to build it?

There are many stakeholders in a successful employer brand. It has traditionally ‘sat’ within recruitment, but it touches many other parts of the organisation such as marketing, IT, compliance. Then there are your external partners – that could be an agency (we know a great little one), an ATS provider, a video specialist, perhaps a social media strategist. It can be a big team and you may well be spending some time together – we know!

Tip: Start by building your business case, talk to marketing, your resourcing team, your agency – and get everyone on board and their roles defined at the outset.

2. Do your research

Would a marketing team launch a new product without first researching the target market and what they might want from this product? No, of course they wouldn’t. An employer brand should be no different. That’s why we recommend you start by understanding where your existing brand sits with your internal and external audience – and what your target audience is looking for …

For example, what might candidates want from a career with you, and what do they think a career with you might be like? What do they like about working for you – is it what you expected, does it sound unique in any way? What are they saying on social media? We might even suggest a focus group of target employees.

And what about your internal audience, what are their views of the good and the bad – and what do they make of the external findings? Finally, what are you going to build on – what are the current stats on time to hire, cost to hire, sourcing channels, turnover rates, etc?

Tip: Whatever role you do, think like a marketer. Get to know your target market and build a baseline of data on which to build.

3. Develop your Employer Proposition (EVP)

The research will have identified what is demonstrably good, and ideally different about working for you. Undoubtedly, you’ll also uncover areas for improvement or consideration too. Overall, you’ll have real confidence that you’ve captured the opinions of your employees and an external view of your target audience.

The process will ensure that you can agree on your employer proposition and all aspects are fully and accurately represented. And, just like any well-planned product offering, it will provide the research-based foundation for the creative development of your employer brand.

We’ve covered the research and building an employer proposition in more depth in our posts ‘Building an employer brand your candidates will want to buy’ and ‘A little guide to your proposition, your brand and your marketing‘.

Tip: Your employer proposition underpins the process that develops the core creative message of your employer brand. Don’t make any assumptions at this stage, it will only come back to bite you where it hurts later.

4. Develop meaningful marketing

The secret to successful employer or recruitment marketing comes from delivering a compelling creative message to the right people – at the right time, in the right place and on the right media. It’s a message that will be articulated through your careers website, social media activity, and advertising. All of which will raise awareness of your brand and help attract more informed talent.

So, how do you get started?

If you haven’t started working with an agency (they may have already helped you carry out research and developed your proposition) then now is the time to – or at least have a chat. Naturally, as an employer branding agency we would say this – it’s what we do (and we love our portfolio of work), but in the interests of impartiality, there are other creative routes you can take and your marketing team might have the resources in-house.

Whatever you decide, the creative output must look and feel like you, which is why involving your existing people for feedback is a good idea. If you show them concepts and they don’t recognise the business (or fall about laughing) it’s not a good sign.

We’ve recently covered two areas very relevant to the creative output of employer branding. The use of film and video is becoming more and more popular as a form of content that shows what it’s like to work for an employer. We’ve also gone into more depth on the need for authenticity in your employer brand.

Tip: You marketing will need to articulate your employer brand across all platforms. A creative partner experienced in employer branding will be able to help with this. It must be authentic to you and believed by your existing people.

5. Build your careers website

Your careers website is probably going to be the first place that a job seeker is going to come into contact with your employer brand. So it needs to make a strong, positive first impression – as well as meeting the needs of your prospective candidates. There’s lot that goes into a careers website and, if you are in an HR role, you’ll be working with an extended team that will probably include marketing, IT, an ATS provider and a creative agency too. That’s why you’ll want to create a good brief.

Writing a brief is a very handy process to clarify your thoughts and create something all stakeholders can sign-off on. If you’ve done your thinking about your employer proposition, you’ll be able to include a steer on your messaging and you may even have a creative approach in place.

We’ve written this article on planning and briefing your careers website but, in brief you should include your values as an organisation, what you are there to achieve, why people will want to work for you and your target audience itself, their likely values and motivations.

Tip: Your careers website should sit at the centre of all your recruitment activity where the candidate is your customer. So, just like any other website, think about what would make the customer take the next step – and write a comprehensive brief. Your web designer will love you for it.

6. Plug it all into Google

You might be delighted with how your new employer brand has translated to your shiny new careers website, but if Google doesn’t know it’s there, your careers website (and the roles on it), is not going to get found.

Fortunately, Google is very helpful when it comes to this. It publishes directions so that you can set-up job postings to be better found in Google searches, leading to the posts having increased chances of discovery and conversion.

And then there’s being set-up for Google’s own job search experience, Google for Jobs – there’s a few things to do for that too. And what about the way your postings and website content is written? Again, there are things you can do that will have a huge impact on how they are found.

We’ve covered all of this and more in our post ‘Making sure Google can find your careers website and vacancies’ and we also have a handy ebook, specifically about Google for Jobs.

Tip: You can’t just switch on your careers site and think that your employer brand will be out there for all the world to see. But if your careers site has been properly indexed with well written pages, well-structured job postings (and clear job titles), is set up for Google for Jobs, is mobile friendly and loads quickly – Google will take a shine to it.

7. Establish your social media strategy

Social media is where your audience are talking and it’s where trust and engagement is built. But you can’t join the conversation unless you’re in the same place as your audience. That’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram – places where, as an employer, its relatively low cost to be. But, it’s not only where your audience are, it’s where your audience shares what they want others to know about.

What’s more, social networks offer reach and they attract passive candidates. It’s highly likely that the network of your employees and friends is much bigger than yours as an employer. So, you can’t afford to miss out of social media for sharing all the best parts of your employer brand.

We’ve covered social media with two articles ‘How social media will support your employer brand‘ and, for those doubters in your organisation, the ‘The business case for using social media for employer branding’.

Tip: If your content is engaging and authentic, your employees will want to share it. So make it easy with share buttons and fast loading video. And don’t be one of those organisations that try to control their employees’ social media – it won’t work.  What’s more it may demotivate and kill off the engagement that’s such a powerful recruiting message.

8. Consider the candidate experience – they talk!

You don’t want to do all this work, developing your employer brand and careers website, attracting exactly the kind of people you need, only to lose them because their experience of being your candidate stinks. But it happens. The line manager who sits on CVs for six weeks, the poorly conducted interview and even the unbelievable practice of (still) not getting back to unsuccessful candidates.

All of these are guaranteed to pour a bucket of cold water over your employer brand. If the reality doesn’t match the promise, the candidate will spot it a mile off and call you out on it. There was a time when poor recruitment could be kept in-house, but that was before social media and, in particular Glassdoor and Indeed.

Think about your own relationship with a brand you like and what they do to keep you engaged. It goes way beyond the first touch – and the candidate experience is no different.

Tip: Break your processes down, see where there are any risks to a positive experience and ask candidates for their thoughts too – they’ll be pleased to tell you and it could be very valuable feedback.

9. Measure and evaluate

You’ve defined and developed your proposition, meaningful marketing, new careers website, social media strategy, candidate experience – that’s a lot of effort and cost. So how effective has it all been? What works, what impact has it made?

You’ll need to know this, so you can get the budget to keep developing your employer brand. And if your HR Director asks “so how effective is our employer brand, where have we improved, what are the cost and time savings in our hiring as a result?” It would be nice to know. So, it’s time to get analytical, but, with so many ways of measuring so many different things, where do you start

We think you should look at improvements in the recruitment process – such as time to hire, your channel effectiveness, the costs, applicant completion rate, etc. But we also believe it’s good to measure what your candidates and your internal customers – and even your hiring managers – feel too.

We’ve written a guide with ten metrics that will make you a measurement expert in no time. Check out this article on ‘Recruitment metrics. What you should be recording, how and why‘ And this on ‘Measuring your employer brand‘.

Tip: Often the best place to start is to ask, “What information do you need?” If you did your research at the start of your employer branding project, you’ll have captured baseline data on what on time to hire, cost to hire, sourcing channels, turnover rates. So you’ll be able to look again and report on not only what they are now – but show the improvements.

10. Decide what awards to enter

Why not think big? If you’ve done all the hard work and can demonstrate your employer brand development is clearly delivering (and you’ll have all the metrics to prove it), there are a number of industry awards you should consider. Share and celebrate your best practice with your peers.

The development of the employer brand is also a big commitment – and requires a lot of trust from the client. So when a resourcing manager has put their case to their board and seen it deliver a genuine benefit to their business, we think that they deserve their moment in the spotlight too.

So, what awards are there?

Let’s start with the RAD Awards, championing the very best of recruitment communications and celebrating “talented people, innovative ideas and brave clients”. We often consider these the Oscars of the recruitment communications. Glitz, glamour and the admiration of your agency peers.

We also really like the Recruitment Marketing Awards. Why? Well there are two rounds of judging. The first is by employer branding and marketing professionals. This develops the short-list and is often similar to the RAD Awards. But the second round is by human resources and recruitment professionals who often see things that the agency folk don’t. A little more worthy. A little more British. The BAFTAs of our industry.

Personally, we’re big fans of the FIRM Awards. Celebrating excellence, innovation and best practice within in-house recruitment. For in-house recruitment professionals, voted by in-house recruitment professionals. The Writer’s Guild Awards.

Finally, the Employer Brand Management Awards is focused purely on the definition of your employer proposition and how you develop and manage your employer brand. It has quick become considered a real benchmark of a company’s employer brand management process. The Larry’s (Olivier Awards) of our industry, maybe?

Here’s our take on the importance of awards – for clients and agencies alike.

Tip: Entering an award is a great way to raise the profile of your organisation and your employer brand development work amongst your peers. Submitting the entry can take time so ask your agency to help, they’ll know what to say and which awards you should go for. Good luck!

In conclusion

Developing and managing your employer brand is one of the most important and high-profile decisions your organisation will take. That might sound like a grand statement but not if you consider that the employer brand attracts and retains talent so has a direct impact on productivity and shareholder value. And where would any organisation be without the people they need?

That’s why the process deserves as much careful planning as any other aspect of brand development – and this checklist has been written to give you all the main pointers although there’s a lot more involved in the detail. Which is where we can help.

Personally, we believe that an effective and award-winning employer brand comes from the combination of a bunch of talented people who all want to deliver something special, a great creative approach and a brave and ambitious client. And if we can have some fun delivering it, all the better.

We’ll help you develop and manage your employer brand

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All designed to help you deliver measurable results.

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Recruitment metrics. What you should be recording, how and why https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/recruitment-metrics-what-you-should-be-recording-how-and-why/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 20:27:16 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5592 If you’ve been reading our blog you’ll know we’ve covered employer branding, the employee value proposition, Google for Jobs, careers websites, social media – we might be little, but we’re...

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If you’ve been reading our blog you’ll know we’ve covered employer branding, the employee value proposition, Google for Jobs, careers websites, social media – we might be little, but we’re big on helpful content. So, if you’ve been implementing at least some of all of this – you should be experiencing an upturn in your recruitment activity. But how effective has it all been? And, if the HR Director wants to know what the resourcing budget has produced, what are you going to report back? Yes, it’s time to get all analytical – but don’t be scared, it’ll be OK, trust me. In fact some of this is so simple you’ll wonder why you’ve not looked into recruitment metrics before.

A little word about measurement

Your recruitment budget is competing with the training budget, the health and safety budget, the HR IT budget, the Friday cake budget – there’s only so much available. If you can demonstrate the success or return on investment (ROI) on what you have spent it’ll make getting the same (or more) next year all the more likely. And that depends on how accurate you can be at measuring your recruitment effectiveness. What’s more, if you don’t know what’s working (or not) how can you be confident about your future strategy?

You know it makes sense. But, with so many ways of measuring so many different things, where do you start? We’ll show you what we think are the main ones – to measure the recruitment process itself and then post recruitment effectiveness and feedback. Start working with these and you’ll be a metrics star before you know it.

Key recruitment metrics – process

1. Time to hire. This can be a contentious issue in an organisation. A hiring manager wants a vacancy filled, how long will it take? Rush the process and you risk undermining quality and missing out on good candidates completely, take too long and you’ll not only frustrate the hiring manager but the candidate might lose interest too. Looking into time to hire can unravel issues that are holding up the process. The ads might have run quickly, but is someone sitting on CVs internally, is there a problem with assessment results taking to long? Are you in turn taking too long to respond to candidates? As you identify and address internal issues, the time to hire should come down.

Time to hire = average number of days from the start of the recruiting process to the signing of the employment contract

2. Sourcing channel effectiveness. This one is about quality, not quantity. In reality, who wants to wade through thousands of unsuitable applications when a shorter list of better qualified candidates can be generated? No one. This metric identifies which channels send you the most suitable and better quality hires. For example, if you receive 2000 applicants through social media and hire 20 candidates, that’s 1%. Alternatively, 20 hires from 500 referrals is 4% – that’s three times more effective and gives you an idea on where to invest budget and effort next time around.

Sourcing channel effectiveness = # of hires generated by a channel / number of applications generated by a channel

3. Sourcing channel cost. Effectiveness is one thing, but what about sourcing channel cost? You can calculate the cost efficiency of your different sourcing channels by including the amount of money spent on each channel – such as the advertisement or referral programme cost. By dividing the spend (per channel) with the number visitors who successfully applied through the vacancy you measure the sourcing channel cost per hire.

Sourcing channel cost = Spend per channel / number of successful applicants per channel

4. Applicant completion rate. You’ve attracted their interest and got them this far – but will they complete the application process? A low applicant completion rate suggests something is putting candidates off. Is the form on your website or ATS too long and repetitive for the role, is it asking for too much personal information? Perhaps the form is not loading properly, risking data loss which would frustrate a candidate who’d be unlikely to enter it all again. If rates suddenly drop something is probably amiss and needs investigation – and your first point of contact should be the candidates.

Application completion rate = number of submitted applications / total number of applications started

5. Applicants per hire. Applicants per hire is the ratio of how many applications are considered for each actual hire. It’s a sign of how hard it can be to recruit for certain positions and can vary widely from role to role – so calculate it for each type of position you fill. This metric shows whether you are effectively sourcing applicants, and should it be low you’ll need to explore what else could be done to widen the net. Are there different approaches or is the campaign message misfiring?

Applicants per hire = number of applicants for a position / number of hires for that same position

6. Offer acceptance rate. This metric can help you spot where there may be issues that deter candidates from accepting your offers. It compares the number of candidates that accepted a job offer with the number to whom an offer was made. A low rate indicates problems – a low remuneration rate perhaps or issues around benefits or flexible working arrangements.

Offer acceptance rate = number of offers accepted / number of offers

7. Cost per hire. The ‘show me the money’ metric. What does it actually cost to get the candidates on board? You can go for a broad approach and look at all candidates across the year or focus on a particular campaign. The objective is to work out how much you spent on each new hire. To do this effectively you’ll need to consider not only the external recruitment campaign costs and any recruiter fees or ATS software costs – you should also include internal costs – such as the cost of your resourcing team and the cost of building your careers website and creative work on your employer brand.

Cost per hire = (total internal costs + total external costs) / total number of hires

Key recruitment metrics – post recruitment satisfaction

8. First year retention or attrition. Successful recruitment is about more than accepting a role – a lot more. It take a few months for a new recruit to become productive so, if they then leave within the first year the whole exercise will be costly with little return. Of course there are always some candidates that just don’t work out and their departure may be managed by the employer. But those that leave of their own accord when they are a perfect fit suggest problems may exist. They might have had unrealistic expectations – or feel that the opportunity was over-sold, they may not like the reality of the organisation or there may be an issue with line management.

Interpreting this can can be seen two ways. Positive – your retention rate. Negative – your attrition rate.

Retention = the number of employees still in post after 12 months / total number of new hires over 12 months

Attrition = the the number leaving a post within 12 month / total number of new hires over 12 months

9. Candidate experience satisfaction. A lot has been written about the candidate experience over the past few years and with good reason. Candidates have opinions and they talk about their experiences good and bad, and particularly the bad, often via their social network. Bad experiences can damage employer brand reputation, hampering future recruitment exercises. So tracking candidates views about the recruitment experience – for successful and unsuccessful candidates alike, can detect whether expectations set during the recruitment process met the reality. And offering the opportunity to give feedback may even improve their perception of the experience.

There’s no formula for measuring candidate experience and satisfaction – but you can create a short online survey using SurveyMonkey, asking for their views on the application experience. There are also third party feedback services you can use such as Mystery Applicant.

10. Hiring manager satisfaction. How your internal customers feel about the recruitment service they receive is an equally important metric. Positive feedback would indicate a successful recruitment exercise. Positive hiring manager satisfaction also suggests that they are satisfied with the quality of candidate within their function – this in turn is likely to engage the new employee and lead to better retention which, as we know, suggests a successful hire.

Feedback can be gained face to face or by an anonymous survey. Hiring managers tend to be forthcoming when they are not happy so finding out what they think are the positives is worth capturing too, along with being seen to care about the service being delivered from the resourcing team.

Conclusion

So there are lots of ways to demonstrate how good a job you’re doing. But from my experience the best place to start is to simply ask … ‘what information do you need?’ Chances are whoever is interested in the data you’re providing is after something pretty specific. Something they can sumarise quickly and efficiently, and put into a format that their manager needs it. So never assume what information people need, just know that if you’re ever asked the question, ‘just how effective is our recruitment process’ that you have at least ten data sets available to you.

We’ll help you keep track

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All designed to help you deliver measurable results. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Sources

https://www.analyticsinhr.com/blog/recruiting-metrics/
https://enlightened-digital.com/the-top-5-metrics-to-best-measure-your-candidate-experience/
https://hire.google.com/articles/20-recruiting-metrics/

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Authenticity in employer branding (and why it matters) https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/authenticity-in-employer-branding/ Sun, 12 May 2019 18:24:03 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5576 I’ve said it before but it’s worth making the point again. Whether you realise it or not – or like it or not – your organisation already has an employer...

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I’ve said it before but it’s worth making the point again. Whether you realise it or not – or like it or not – your organisation already has an employer brand. Your employees and your candidates will have formed an opinion of your company based on your reputation, their experience and your employment offer. But is it a positive one – and one that they’ll have an affinity with? That’s because the success of any employer brand depends on the one thing you really can’t fake – authenticity.

A successful employer brand is not only about how you differentiate your offer, it’s also about how that offer is perceived and effectively ‘bought’ by your target audience. They won’t buy what they don’t like – and nor will they buy what they don’t believe – or trust.

This article looks at the importance of building authenticity in your employer brand. We’ll share some tips and also how some examples of our own work. From the candidate’s perspective accepting a job offer is often a huge and highly personal decision. So let your authenticity help them choose you.

We are all truth seekers

Never before has it been easier to discover the truth – and it forms an essential part of our decision making. Will you buy that product? Look for reviews on Amazon. Will you book that hotel? Take a look on TripAdvisor. What’s it like to work for a certain employer? Ask GlassDoor – or check out social media and see what employees have to say.

LinkedIn has published some interesting employer branding data. They claim that 75% of jobseekers consider the employer brand before even applying for a role, and just over half (52%) visit the company website and social media sites to find out more information. And when they do, what’s more important to them? What the company says (well they would, wouldn’t they?) or, what actual users – or employees – have to say? No contest.

It’s a fact. We tend to gravitate towards what people like us have to say, rather than accept the corporate line. It wasn’t always that way but now, the truth is out there. Thanks to social media. And the X-Files.

Be real, or face the music

We are not only truth seekers but these days we also have pretty good bullsh*t filters fitted as standard. Candidates can tell very quickly if what they see on your careers site is genuine. And if they are not sure – as we know, they can find out.

A poor visual representation of your brand does nothing to help matters. Fakery used to be obvious – we can all recall the cheesy stock shots that used to feature in recruitment brochures and early careers websites. You know the ones. The boardroom shot, people pretending to be on the phone.

And then there was the corporate songs. Sadly the infamous KPMG video has been pulled from YouTube but someone has re-posted the song. If you’ve not heard this before, you are in for a treat.

Of course we have moved on (thankfully). But these examples, as bad as they were, illustrate the point that people want to see a realistic representation of the organisation they might want to work for. Even more so today.

Don’t forget, what they see of your employer brand is being compared against every other brand they come into contact with.

A few little authenticity tips

Tell it as it is – no airbrushing: It goes without saying that, if they find that the actual experience of working for you doesn’t match the expectations of your messaging, they’ll be disappointed. Your employer brand needs to be a truthful reflection of your organisation, your people and the way you work.

Involve your current employees: For all the focus on candidate attraction that often comes with developing an employer brand, it’s a mistake to forget about the people you currently employ. They’ll have a pretty good view on the authenticity of the employer brand you develop. And what’s more, you’ll want to retain them. Involving them in your employee value proposition and brand development reminds them of why they joined and engages them to be ambassadors for your employer brand. Which brings us to…

Employee generated content: Remember what we said about trust? Potential employees want to know what your people think about working for you – so give them a voice. It’ll also show that you value the opinions of your employees too. Engaged employees who find the employer brand is what they were expecting (meaning you’ve delivered on the promises implied) are more likely to share positive experiences with their social networks. And that means a reach far greater than the organisation could ever create.

Social media: This is where the conversation is. So please don’t be one of those organisations that gets all possessive about social media. Not only should you encourage your employees to generate their own content, it should be spontaneous and the more natural (OK, we’ve probably used authentic enough in this piece) the better. Having an away day? Take a camera, shoot a video. Give candidates the chance to see who you are and what it’s like to work for you. It will help them decide if they want to apply – or if they’d rather not. Both are good outcomes if you’ve shown the real you. The selection process goes two-ways.

We’ve written a whole piece on how social media can support your employer brand. Take a peek here.

So, that was the tips – but can you show us some examples? I’m glad you asked…

Real examples

Here are a few choice selections from our portfolio. In essence, each of the following examples is based on:

  • Thorough research with the intended audience – internally and externally
  • Complete buy-in to the authenticity of the concepts
  • Using their own people in all visual elements

Hastings Direct

Winner – ‘Best Development of an Employer Brand – The Firm Awards 2019

Insurance company Hastings Direct needed an employer brand to represent their modern culture, resonate with jobseekers across different functions, was warm and professional and centered on their people. We carried out internal and external research with each recruitment audience, developing the key themes and proposition and then ratifying the core messages with the client. Throughout the research it was mentioned that great people at Hastings Direct has a ‘certain something’ about them – that they were ‘clearly Hastings Direct in nature’. So what better way to show this than but featuring their own people.

Impact so far: 87% increase in website visitors, 29% increase in completed applications.

Take a look at the full Hastings Direct employer brand development case study here.

Wolseley

Wolseley, owner of retail brands Plumb Centre, Parts Centre and Climate Centre, wanted a website that would help them not only articulate the opportunities available within the group, but also support the renaming of their retail branches under the Wolseley name. We recognised that Wolseley’s people are their very best advocates. That’s why they feature on every page, blog or job and in every piece of video. They help deliver key content and offer a real insight into their culture. And supporting this, the site integrates seamlessly with their social media platforms which help articulate the day-to-day activities of Wolseley in real time.

Take a look at the full Wolseley careers website case study here.

Impact so far: 148% increase in website visitors, 36% increase in completed applications.

Want more? Take a look through all our case studies here.

So why does authenticity matter then?

We are living in a world where more and more of us are less willing to compromise on our values. It’s no different with where we work and who we decide to invest our time with – because it is an investment for the employee too. They want an authentic employer brand that meets their values and where the reality matches the expectation.

As recruiters, it can be easy to get immersed in job requisitions and deadlines, missing the point that joining an organisation is a big decision for a candidate. They are more likely to dig beneath the surface and they are going to want to like what they see – and go on to find that they were right.

Often getting your candidates over the line isn’t so much down to what you say, but what your existing employees are prepared to say – and you know who’s responsible for that.

We’ll help you keep it real.

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. All with authenticity at their heart. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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