That Little Agency https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk Sat, 27 Jul 2019 16:27:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 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 to an end to end process.

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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Making sure Google can find your careers website and vacancies https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/making-sure-google-can-find-your-careers-website-and-vacancies/ Sat, 02 Mar 2019 11:50:37 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5514 You’ve worked hard to build your careers website. It looks good, it’s got all your latest roles on there too, even a nice video. But, if your site could speak,...

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You’ve worked hard to build your careers website. It looks good, it’s got all your latest roles on there too, even a nice video. But, if your site could speak, it might sound a little bit like Lionel Richie.

“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

And just like Lionel, it’ll be left wondering where your candidates are, and wondering what they do. That’s because, unless your site and vacancies are set-up right – some other employer will soon be loving them.

So, how can you make sure it’s your site and vacancies they are not only looking for, but actually find? The good news is, as this article will show, a lot of this is easy to do. So let’s start with making sure Google finds your careers website.

Does Google know your careers website is a careers website?

Sometimes it’s the most obvious things that are easy to overlook. The biggest challenge your careers page may face is that Google doesn’t know it’s a careers page. Which won’t do it any favours when it comes to being found. At the very least, the URL of your careers site or pages, should be structured so it starts of ends with something careers, jobs or vacancies. This will help Google know that this is a jobs section and should therefore be indexed as such in search results.

You need to get your careers page and live vacancies set-up so that they are found for the roles they list. 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.

How to do this

These three links will give your site and its vacancies a big splash of SEO juice and ensure they are indexed by Google and Indeed which costs nothing. If you aren’t IT savvy or don’t have access to your site back end, you might want to get your IT department to help. It should be easy for them to follow.

Are you set-up for Google for Jobs?

Google for Jobs has been live in the UK for a few months now. It has been designed to simplify and speed up the process of job hunting for job seekers. If you are set-up for Google for Jobs, then your roles will appear in Google’s job search box by matching what your candidates have been searching for. Which sounds like a pretty good idea to us.

Some employers are reporting a 60% increase in job views as a result of being set-up for Google for Jobs. So you’ll want to get a copy of ‘Our little guide to Google for Jobs’ ebook.

Are your job postings written to be found?

Of course they are – or so you might think. But Google likes things laid out in a logical way. A cut and paste of the job description won’t be enough. If you want to be friends with Google (and job boards in general) – you have to play by their rules. What’s more, the way you write and structure your job postings will also have a huge impact on how they are found and interpreted by your candidates. And not just any candidates – but the better qualified ones you really want.

This article has all the elements to help you create a well crafted, highly targeted and, most importantly of all, interesting and readable job advert. https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/little-guide-writing-successful-job-advert/

A little more about SEO

Google looks for the same things in a career site that it does in any good website – and that means good SEO practice. With a careers site, indexing and doing all the set-up things we covered above is an absolute must. But what else can you do?

Make it mobile friendly: Google gives preference in searches to sites that are mobile compatible. It’s also a lot easier for your candidates to engage with and find what they want. If your careers site isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll be losing candidates full stop. If you have an existing site that isn’t mobile friendly, a new careers site is the time to change things. Here’s something we wrote on mobile applications – it’ll give you some pointers.

Check it loads fast: Your candidates don’t like to wait – and nor does Google. You only have a matter of seconds to encourage your candidates to stick with you and read more. If your site loads any slower than 3 seconds you may already have lost up to 40% of potential visitors. You can run your careers site through Google’s mobile site speed checker. Anything more than 2.5 seconds is considered slow. You’ll get a report with recommended fixes.

Add fresh content: Every day Google crawls the web looking for signs of new content. It tells Google that your site is alive and well. So, adding well structured content with relevant keywords to your careers site will help get it noticed and give your candidates fresh reasons to interact with your employer brand. So, as well as your vacancies, think about blog articles, testimonials from staff, videos – there’s a lot you can do with content.

Get social: Using social media can add tremendous reach for your careers site. That’s because it’s highly likely that the network of your employees and their friends and contacts  is much bigger than yours as an employer. Yes, there’s an audience for your careers site – but there’s a much bigger one if you use social media and link it back to your site. What’s more, social media is where employees and candidates will be talking, so you might as well join in the conversation. This post covers how social media will support your employer brand.

In conclusion

You don’t need to be an SEO expert to bring good SEO to your careers site. This article has covered most of the basics you’ll need to help your site and vacancies have a much better chance of being found.

In summary, if your careers site has well indexed and written pages, well structured job postings (and clear job titles), is set up for Google for Jobs, is mobile friendly, loads quickly, has fresh content and uses the right keywords (pause for breath)… then you are doing many of the right things.

Is it us you’re looking for?

We are That Little Agency, we help employers tell their story and we do this by developing award-winning employer brands and careers websites. 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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Google Analytics, your careers website and your candidates https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/google-analytics-and-your-careers-website/ Sun, 13 Jan 2019 09:00:43 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5459 As a Talent Acquisition or Recruitment Manager, you know that your careers website is the flagship for your employer brand and resourcing strategy. It sets out your employee value proposition,...

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As a Talent Acquisition or Recruitment Manager, you know that your careers website is the flagship for your employer brand and resourcing strategy. It sets out your employee value proposition, hosts your vacancies and, if all goes well, inspires your candidates to apply. All pretty important stuff – we think so. So, of course you are measuring its performance – aren’t you?

You should already have a pretty good idea of the effectiveness of your resourcing strategy if you track the time it takes to fill roles, the quality of both your hires and speculative applicants. But Google Analytics will give you specific data about your careers website itself – so you’ll be able to gather more information and track ROI on sources of candidate traffic including job boards, social media and employee review sites like Glassdoor.

What’s more, a careers website and associated media is no small investment – so you really don’t want to miss out on the important (and free) data that Google Analytics can give you.

With a little help from us – you could be up and running in no time. You’ll find an overview of some of the key data Google Analytics will give you, some tips on how to get started and some useful guides at the end.

Think like a Marketing Manager

You might be in resourcing but it’s time to think like a Marketing Manager. That’s because, today, you are a marketing manager – for your employer brand. So, just as a marketing manager needs customer data to evaluate tactics and make decisions – it’s no different for your careers website.

If you already think of your candidates as customers of your employment offer – then you are on the right track and Google Analytics, if you aren’t using it already – will be a revelation.

Key career site measures from Google Analytics

Here are some of the main measures and what they cover. Google Analytics data is grouped into four main sections. We’ve structured this to show some of the main data you can look out for in each – and what it means.

Audience

Audience tells you everything you need to know about the people who visit your careers website. You can see how many there’s been, where they came from, how long they stay and the devices they use. In particular:

  • Users. How many users visited your careers website in any date range – and you can also see a real-real-time version of this.
  • New users. The number of first-time users during a selected date range. This is useful if you want to see the impact of a campaign in attracting new candidates.
  • Page views. The total number of pages visitors accessed on your careers website.
  • Pages and session. The average number of pages one user looked at in one session.
  • Bounce rate. The percentage of people who just visited one page of your careers website and then left. The higher the figure, the less engaging the site is. Ideally, a figure lower than 50% shows that at least half your visitors wanted to explore the site further.
  • Device category. The type of devices being used – desktop, mobile and tablet. Candidates habits are becoming increasingly mobile – so a low visitor rate via mobiles might indicate a poor mobile experience.

Typically, we look at the average session duration and the average number of pages viewed per session as an indication of how engaging your careers website is. The higher the number the greater the engagement. It may not be perfect, but it is a good rule of thumb.

Acquisition

Acquisition tells you how people found and arrived at your careers website – including the channels they used, results from using Google AdWords and your presence on social media. In particular:

  • Top channels. You’ll see the percentage coming via organic search, direct (I.e. they typed in your URL), referral from other sites (perhaps Glassdoor or sites where you are spending money), visits from social media and any that come via an email campaign you may have run – perhaps to your candidate database.
  • Google Ads. You can track the results of any paid campaign you use to promote your careers site
  • Keywords. The words your candidates are using (both paid and unpaid) to search for and find your careers website.

Typically, we look at the proportion of your visitors that come directly to your website or via organic search engine searches as being good indicators of your employer brand. Another good indicator are visits via organic social media activity. And of course the more traffic that comes through these sources will reduce your need for paid-for advertising. Which can only be a good thing.

Behaviour

Behaviour covers how people interact with your careers website once they have arrived. Find out the pages and content they viewed, the landing pages, where they went next and the site speed. In particular:

  • Site content. Where they enter the site (landing pages – so you can see what first encouraged them to visit)) and where they leave (exit pages).
  • Site speed. Candidates, and especially those using mobiles, will not want a slow site experience. Pages taking too long to load will likely deter them from exploring your careers website further. You can also test (and gain feedback) on your career website speed here: https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb

Conversions

This is the part where you get to customise your reporting and ask Google Analytics to give you specific data you set. These are known as ‘goals’. In particular:

  • Applicants. You might want to set up a goal to track the candidates that click to apply, and then those that go onto complete their application. You can set a goal to measure this against each source media – so, you’d soon see which media is working best in terms of actually generating applications.
  • Sign-ups. You can set a goal to measure the success of any sign-up initiatives – like receiving your job alerts or joining your candidate database – and you can also see which media generated these.

Setting up Google Analytics on your careers site

Setting up Google Analytics is easy and free. You just need to have a Gmail account in place. Set-up requires a code to be added to your careers website – so, you’d need access to the back office in order to do this – and this is something probably best managed by your IT department. They would then authorise access to nominated individuals in the resourcing team.

Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is very intuitive and easy to use and, while Google provides tutorials, you’ll find that the data is fairly easy to interpret. If you take our key careers website measures above as a guide to what to look out for, you’ll soon find interesting data. A couple of things to point out.

Google Analytics only gives data from when it has been set-up so, it will take a few weeks to gather meaningful data. It won’t immediately give you retrospective data. Using Google Analytics can’t break your careers website! You can use it to take a look at data, generate reports but it won’t make any difference to what your careers website looks like – so go on – have a go!

Useful guides

While we hope that we have answered all your questions, there are bund to be a few more. These may just help.

  • Google’s Analytics help page. Everything you need to know about set-up and interpreting your reports. Find out more here.
  • Guide to Google for Jobs. Our free guide on how to ensure your careers website is indexed so that your roles are found in Google searches. We strongly recommend that you are set-up to use Google for Jobs. Find out more here.
  • Launching your new careers website. If you’ve yet to launch your own careers website, Google Analytics will be a tad ahead of the game. But, why not use our roadmap for launching your new careers website the right way. Find out more here.

Conclusion

That’s it – you got there! I hope we’ve been able to help you understand and work with Google Analytics a little better. Going back to that Marketing Manager analogy, recruitment is about customer data – you need to know what your customers are doing so you can evaluate strategy and make decisions.

Once you’ve installed Google Analytics on your careers website you can track the main metrics and customise sections to set up and track your own goals. You’ll be a pro in no time. If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around Google Analytics just drop us a line

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A little guide to your proposition, your brand and your marketing https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/employer-value-proposition-employer-brand/ Mon, 19 Nov 2018 09:35:56 +0000 https://www.thatlittleagency.co.uk/?p=5242 We’ve been kicking the idea for this blog for a little while now. A short piece around the difference between employer value proposition, employer branding and recruitment marketing. Just a...

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We’ve been kicking the idea for this blog for a little while now. A short piece around the difference between employer value proposition, employer branding and recruitment marketing. Just a few thoughts to help add a little clarity around these popular subjects.

It comes from the fact that many of our conversations with clients start something like this. “Mark, we need to develop an employer brand”. That’s not that surprising when you consider that 60% of the traffic to our website comes from people searching for ‘employer branding agency’. But, as popular as the term is, it’s not necessarily one that we’re comfortable with. After all, we’re not a factory that creates employer brands. What we do is discover what it is that makes you a great place to work and turn this into meaningful marketing that will, in turn, influence your reputation as an employer. This helps develop your employer brand.

“An employer brand can be neither created nor destroyed, but it can be influenced from one state to another.” The first law of employer branding. See, that chemistry degree hasn’t been wasted.

And that’s where we need to start. Finding out what state it is in now. Because by knowing what your reputation as an employer is now, and how if differs from the reality of working for you, we’ll know what work needs to be done to get you to where you want to be. And what we’ll need to do enhance and influence your reputation.

So the question becomes slightly different, “Mark, we want to attract, engage and retain the very best talent in our sector. How do we do that?” Great question. I’m glad you asked. I’ll explain.

Let’s start with your employer value proposition

Defining your employer value proposition, or EVP, is essentially finding the answer to this simple question:

“Why should someone choose to work for us, as opposed to someone else?”

Without knowing the answer to this question, how could you possibly hope to meet the expectations of you target job seekers? Your proposition should be the foundations that your talent acquisition strategy is built upon. And you can’t build anything without strong foundations. See, that engineering degree hasn’t been wasted.

By talking to people inside and outside of your business, you can quickly get a good idea of the things that make you a great place to work. Universal themes that can be supported through the experiences of your people. Compelling stories that can be used to build meaningful employer marketing.

Whether you like it or not you already have an employer brand

What? We haven’t done anything; how can we have one? Oh, but you have. Your employer brand is what people already think of you as an employer. They’re forming an opinion about you right now. And you don’t even need to work for an organisation to have a view of their employer brand. It’s often down to perception. Something they’ve heard or seen. Just as you might have a view about a shop or restaurant. But the good news is that you can influence that view. But only if you really understand what you have. And that takes us back to the importance of you defining your employer value proposition.

And, as your HR Director will be pleased to hear, it’s not just about attracting talent. A powerful execution of your employer brand also engages and retains existing employees.

So, how do you bring your employer brand to life?

The secret to successful recruitment marketing comes from delivering a compelling creative message to the right candidates – at the right time, in the right place and on the right device. But it’s rarely that simple. Today’s candidate journey is like any other customer journey – and customers tend to be pretty choosy where they spend their money – or, in this context, invest their talent.

A typical customer journey will start with some form of awareness of the product, service or role, then interest may pick up, they’ll start to evaluate what’s on offer, maybe look for some proof and, if it all stacks up, may decide to take things further. So, you can immediately see why nailing your proposition is so important. It will inform so much of the messaging, so it needs to be realistic. Good recruitment marketing needs to attract and nurture candidates through the process using a number of channels, but there are plenty of stages where candidates can lose interest – even after they’ve gone to the trouble of applying (more of that later).

The holy grail of marketing is to create inbound enquiries from customers who are already part way through their purchasing journey and have ‘bought into’ the brand. Recruitment marketing should be no different. Your compelling proposition articulated through your careers website, social media activity, job board advertising and the way you engage your current employees will all raise awareness of your brand and help attract more informed talent.

Your candidate experience – don’t lose them this way

But despite of all of the above, it’s very easy to cancel out all your earlier hard work. How? Just give your candidates a poor experience. It seems crazy to have to say it – but just as shoppers get turned off by poor customer service – candidates will react in very much the same way.

I’ve been working in the recruitment industry for almost 20 years and I’ve seen supply and demand go in cycles. In the ‘olden days’ when demand was low, but candidate supply was high, some employers thought they could get away with treating candidates almost as a nuisance. The successful candidate was deemed lucky to get the job and unsuccessful candidates rarely heard anything. There was never any connection made between a poor candidate experience and how it would damage the candidate’s perception of the overall brand. That was then.

Today, the candidate experience is a whole subset of the employer brand experience and an industry of its own. It’s all about delivering a recruitment process that leaves candidates with a positive impression of you as an employer – whether they are successful or not. Get it right and you’ll create goodwill that retains not only their interest in you as an employer – but potentially their business as a customer too. Get it wrong and they’ll be on Glassdoor and all over social media.

So, how does it all fit together?

Well, your proposition informs your recruitment marketing which in turns influences your employer brand. It captures why your people choose to work for you instead of somewhere else. There will be little gems in there that will feed into your employer brand as well as some things you can address and improve. While your recruitment marketing works to bring your proposition to life and takes the candidate through a journey from consideration towards commitment. Just as conventional marketing does.

But it doesn’t stop there. Your candidate experience needs to be great too. To deliver on the promises you’re making through your recruitment marketing. No matter what the outcome, you need to know that the candidate has enjoyed the experience of engaging with you. That positive experience will improve your reputation. And your reputation as a place to work is your employer brand. See, those 20 years in employer branding and marketing hasn’t been wasted.

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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