The following post was authored by Shaunda Zilich, a global employment brand leader at Member company, GE. Connect with Shaunda in our Member-exclusive community!

Shaunda Zilich, GE

“The future (and the present time) of recruiting is more like sales.” We have all heard this and probably said this however I sit back and reflect and I’m not sure we have really ‘bought’ this concept just yet…if we believed in it our behaviors would change.

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending DirectEmployers Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN. I attended many great sessions but one that still keeps me thinking is a session I attended that was not about recruiting at all, it was about selling experiences. The gentleman leading the session had a complete background in sales. He talked a lot about how the sales ladder should be used when ‘selling’ opportunities (or I would say experiences) to possible candidates. In comparing to my process of employment branding at GE I came up with the following:

    • Unaware: When unaware of pain be positive/memorable branding.
      • Recruiting – Candidate: {liking their current job.} GE: “Ok, but now we are cool.”
    • Aware: Make prospect aware there is a pain point with current situation
      • Recruiting – GE: “We are impacting the world…what are you doing?” Candidate: “Oh no…”
      • As employers we should have the prospects/candidates asking ‘why do I do what I do?’ we need to cause emotion/connection
    • Aware: Allow prospect to realize there are solutions.
    • Aware: Make them aware of our solution.
    • Engaged: Educate them on the benefits of our solution – It answers the ‘why.’
    • Action: Convince them to ‘buy’ (apply) – change their current happy (or not) job to our opportunity.

My question is–if we REALLY believe in this (again, we all say we are now ‘selling’ and it isn’t just ‘post and pray’), then we would invest more in making the unaware, aware and making the aware realize we are the solution. We would invest more time, effort, and resources in employment branding. I’m not sure about you, but more times than not I hear at GE and externally about how any extra money means more ‘recruiting heads’. I don’t hear very often that more money for the function means we can put more money into marketing the employment brand.

I truly believe this is because we are still trying to evolve the current process and not change and redo the full strategy. We need to step back and act like we have a ‘white canvas’ in front of us. We need to involve those from our commercial/sales division. When they know they have a huge initiative ahead of them, they step back and plan from the beginning how they will ‘go to market’.

We tend to think, in recruiting, that this is so hard and there is such a war on top talent. News flash–our sales and commercial teams have been doing this for years. They have been competing with top products/solutions from all our competitors. They can help us plan and apply our additional resources (or the limited ones we currently have) to the upfront process. If we focus more on making the unaware aware and making the aware realize we are the solution, there is not really a war on talent.

“Okay…” you say, “What do I do?” Our sales and commercial teams would tell us that it is not only about the relationship (we are there), but it is also about the conversation and personalization. Amazon has been doing this for years! They learn who we are and target possibilities to us. We should be doing the same with jobs. Customer Service at my bank has been doing this for years. For example, on their website they have a live chat window–why don’t we have this on applications? Candidates could get real-time feedback and save both of us time figuring out if they are the right prospect for this position before they even apply! Apps like ESPN and Flipboard do this. They let you choose your favorites that you want to see more information on when logging in. Let’s allow candidates to choose what they see based on themselves, instead of throwing ALL information and jobs at them!

Our talent communities and social media allow us to start these conversations and concepts but we still need to continue to move forward and treat our candidates like customers! We need to step back and stop evolving–we need a redo!

Want to learn more from Shaunda? Register to attend our 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference to check out her session Creating a Customer Experience: Empathic Brand Advocacy.

Register Today and join us May 9 – 11 in Indianapolis, IN!

Shaunda Zilich, GEShaunda currently is the Global Employment Brand Leader for GE. Four years ago, Shaunda started this adventure with GE to modernize its recruitment and bolster its employer brand. Now she runs a global team of three full-time employment brand leaders and a council of 35+ members, building employer branding across all regions, in all GE businesses, and within all GE employees (300,000+). Her 10+ years of past experience in marketing and training professionals and companies on how to brand themselves has played a key role in her success at GE.




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