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Recruitment Marketing
It's the inspiration that makes it work.
We're selling the most exciting products in the world - new opportunities, alternative futures, different lives - and we can create inspiration and exhilaration around any employer with a story to tell. From housing charities to City law firms and from investment banks to infrastructure giants, we create award-winning campaigns to attract the talent that gets things done.
You don't win by doing the same as everyone else, but this is about intelligent, measured creativity - not empty gimmicks. If you want to hire the right people, you need to get your opportunity in front of them, with plenty of reasons why they should put down what they're doing and apply to you.
Market Research
Answer the question
Our advice is to do nothing until you really know your audience context - who they are, what they want and why they might want to join you. When you understand the challenge, everything else follows.
In most kinds of recruitment activity, insight drives effectiveness. There are all kinds of things that you need to know if you are going to hire the right people, swiftly and efficiently.
Who exactly are the people you want to recruit?
Where are they working now?
How do they prefer to look for jobs?
What do they think of you?
What have you got to offer that might make them want to join?
Beyond the focus on the target audience, there are all kinds of other insights that can improve both recruitment and retention. For example, why did your existing employees join and why do they stay? What make a high performer in your organisation? What's it like to go through your recruitment process? There are so many questions that you might want to ask and - because we carry out all kinds of employment research on our own account - we might already have some of the answers.
How do we find the answers?
Focus groups
Online surveys
Creative testing
Desk research
Telephone interviewing
Process audit
Message prototyping
Values development
Panel testing
Communication audit
Web usability testing
Media & campaign metrics
Job analysis
Candidate experience testing
Effective Media Campaigns
Solid planning, innovative strategy, great relationships, positive negotiation and a strong commitment to metrics: we guarantee more bang for your media buck, yen, euro, rupee &c.
Understand the audience
The starting point for any recruitment marketing plan is a detailed understanding of the target market; when we know who you are looking for and where to find them, we can build a media schedule; the structure varies depending on the specific challenges, and we can provide reliable advice on the relative merits of the tried-and-trusted channels versus the new media opportunities. Although the primary focus is to connect you with the right people, our methodology is designed to deliver the 'lowest cost' solution. As a major buyer of media, we have substantial leverage with publishers.
The new media dynamic
At its best, media planning doesn't just get the recruitment message in front of the right people; it delivers that message in an environment which is most likely to trigger an appropriate response. Of course, the world of media is undergoing a continuing revolution. Significantly, the gulf between recruitment media and non-recruitment channels is breaking down; traditional print media and job boards are being supplemented (and often replaced) by mainstream media such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, as well as the more career-focused media such as LinkedIn and the aggregators.
Comprehensive capability
If the range of media is growing and changing, so are the applications. Alongside obvious advertising options such as Banners, Buttons, MPUs and Skys, there is an increasingly important role for direct marketing including e-mail shots and in-mails, as well indirect measures such as contextual and behavioural targeting. We have also invested in specialist expertise from full-cycle candidate tracking and global search engine trawls to Buzz marketing and HRPR. As a result, our media team combines deep market knowledge, strong media relationships and innovative flair to provide a versatile and effective capability that keeps you ahead of a very complicated game.
All about you
For each client, we create a bespoke media knowledge resource, with detailed collation of rates, deals and campaign results. We can also allocate dedicated media planners who immerse themselves in the specific requirements and challenges of a particular employer. This focus on individual needs delivers highly sensitive, high-impact media strategies that maximise effectiveness and minimize cost.
Optimized buying
We are absolutely committed to delivering the right result for minimum cost, because this is the way to secure the long-term relationships that drive our own success. This is why we embrace free and low-cost media so readily: for some vacancies there are plenty of low-cost options and most assignments can benefit from a 'cheapest first' strategy. But across the market we buy large and negotiate hard. For an average client we will achieve at least a 20% discount across media that pay commission.
Metrics matter
Accurate measurement is the vital precursor to optimum media performance. We use our Facilitate tracking technology to monitor the effectiveness of the media we use in real time; if any online option is failing to perform we can take immediate action to boost response. Facilitate also enables us to link successful hires to the first medium that introduced a candidate to the opportunity; this means we can fine-tune campaign planning in line with ultimate success criteria, rather than the potentially misleading raw response volumes.
The Media Team is usually associated with tactical sourcing, but we are also heavily involved in strategic attraction, helping organisations to build up pools of talent that they can hire from at will.
Employee Value Proposition
Why should the people you want to hire, want to do these jobs, with your organization? Answer that question, honestly and persuasively, and you have an EVP.
Why should I?
We were originally converted to the discrete charm of the EVP by clients who needed to answer a simple but pressing question: "Why should the people we want to hire, want to do these jobs, in our organisation?" It is a simple question, but it often gets lost because employers focus on 'who we are looking for' rather than 'what we have to offer the people we want'. We believe that once the telescope is turned round to focus on the individual rather than the employer, everything else is applied common sense. What's more, the EVP is just as powerful when applied to retention and engagement as it is in attraction and selection.
Flexible and consistent?
A robust EVP is flexible in application as well as consistent in theme: it must convey compelling messages about all kinds of roles, to all kinds of audiences, in all kinds of media, but the voice remains the same. The EVP can inform the content of your online job postings and the style of your graduate brochure, but it can also influence communication throughout the employment cycle, from schools outreach and on-boarding programmes to alumni relations.
All yours
The EVP is a specific sub-set of employer branding theory - but it is distinguished by the fact that you can control it. Your employer brand or reputation is generally out of your hands because it can be shaped by anything from sea-bed accidents and credit crunches to pub conversations. The EVP is a simple answer to an important question in which you decide the terms of reference. It is also a spur to action: if you don't have an answer that works for your target audience, you know that something else has to change.

Always On
In the olden days, there was reactive fire-fighting recruitment: inefficient, expensive and ineffective. Now, relationship recruitment and direct-source talent pooling put you back in control.
Let's talk
The social media revolution is offering employers the opportunity to build attraction strategies that are more in tune with people and the way they live their lives. With so many communication channels available, there are all kinds of possibilities for 'starting the conversation', but people are increasingly choosy about who they engage with. They may be more mobile and more social, but they also resent unwanted interruptions.
Permission to engage
Nonetheless, the huge potential for continuous connection is transforming the recruitment communication cycle. Instead of simply pushing out recruitment messages to broadcast a vacancy, employers need to seek permission to enter the lives of the target audience. They need to earn the trust of individuals by building presence without intrusion.
Four components
This has led to the creation of the 'Always On' strategy, in which we help clients to embed themselves in the landscape so that potential candidates can engage with the employer on their own terms - and at a time that suits them. The 'Always On' strategy has four key components.
It boosts brand awareness and differentiates the employer's offer
It provides information and interaction that the audience finds useful or entertaining
It creates a community of supporters who are positively disposed to the employer
It builds a 24/7 presence in communities where candidates gather
Building support
'Always On' provides the foundation for a talent bank of people who are positively disposed to working with a particular employer because they have already been exposed to the employer brand over a period of time; their relationship is based on a sense of 'useful interaction' that initially has nothing to do with recruitment as such. It's a very gentle sell in which awareness of the employment offer is built through a kind of osmosis.
It's the relationship that counts
Building relationships in the new media landscape requires sensitivity, imagination and empathy but it does have some decisive benefits. Greater mutual understanding between employer and candidate means that the quality and commitment of applicants tends to be much greater. And although 'Always On' is designed for the convenience of the audience, the talent pooling model also liberates the employer from reactive, vacancy-led recruitment.
We're particularly excited by 'Always On' strategies because there is so much scope for innovation and creativity in building the relationship with the target audience. Technology enables the strategy, but it's actually only a means to an end: mutually rewarding human contact.
Managing Projects
Rarely the glamorous, award-winning, jet-setting part of the piece: simply the skill, experience and determination that make everything else happen on time, within budget, above expectation.
We manage large, multi-faceted campaigns for global employers. Sometimes we deliver specific parts of the project, such as an assessment centre or a careers site, and sometimes we deliver the whole kit & caboodle, as a silent outsourcing partner. We have the processes, the technology and the expertise to deliver the results you need, on time, within budget and beyond expectation.
But in everything we have done we have learnt that the secret of effective project management is clear and continuous communication. From scoping out the project to reviewing the results, success depends on honest relationships based on mutual trust and openness. If you have strong relationships, you can achieve things that looked impossible; if you don't, even the simplest task can turn into a crisis. So although our experience and client list should provide a reassuring proof of our capability, it's the partnership we build with you that really matters.
Employer Brand Management
The social media revolution wrested control of the corporate reputation away from corporate control and employer brand theory is in shreds; we can help you cope with a new, fragmented and yet exhilarating reality.
Employer branding has been around for well over a decade and yet people still argue about whether it is a passing fad, the next big thing or an idea that never really took off. This conflict is significant, because various authorities and suppliers have continued to re-define the employer brand in different ways. This means the landscape is incredibly complicated and confusing; two organisations who express an interest in employer branding may want very different things, from a graphic identity to a full-cycle talent strategy.
Our approach is to base our thinking on the definitions of the concept's originators - and to shape our solutions to meet the priorities and objectives of individual employers. The emphasis is on logic and common sense rather than jargon and flow charts. This is the bottom line: if you begin to treat your candidates and colleagues like customers, you won't go far wrong. And if you want to be recognized as a great employer, the solution is very simple. You have to act like one.
Recuitment / Marketing
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