According to the latest Sales and Marketing theory, today’s world has moved from the “Interruption Model” (where sales messages competed aggressively against each other to win the ‘mindshare’) to the “Permission Model” – whereby the minds of potential candidates and customers, bombarded by the constant noise of sales messages, have become conditioned to reject most of those messages unless their brain decides to give it “permission” to be listened to.
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This huge shift has been brought about by the digital era. Since 2000, the growth of digital channels and multi-media devices has created a 24/7 ‘omni-channel’ and the human brain has quite simply said ‘enough is enough’. Unless the source of the sales message is trusted and credible, it’s instantly discounted and ignored.
This means that achieving the status of ‘a trusted brand’ is now the holy grail for recruiters. And only this month, LinkedIn (no less) published a report asserting that employers with a poor or negative employment brand have a 50% less chance of attracting the talent they need, regardless of whether they offer increased salaries or benefits. That represents a huge challenge for recruiters – and something of a paradigm shift for Recruitment Marketing. It’s ushered in new era where engagement is far more about story-telling rather than hard-selling.
So how can your organisation begin to win ‘permission’ to communicate with the candidates you need?
Be Authentic. Work out what makes you a good employer, stick to that story – and tell the story in normal everyday language.
There’s an old adage that ‘repetition, repetition, repetition creates reputation’ and that still holds true today. Regularly refresh and enhance your story – build it chapter by chapter – but keep it consistent and aligned with your agreed employment proposition.
90% Tell, 10% Sell.
It’s ok to tell people why they should work for you, but avoid superlatives and hyberbole. Just state the facts about what your company does and why a candidate might want to work for you. Tell them about what’s in it for them (Learning, Team Culture, Career-Changing Projects, etc) and let them decide.
Understand that many people own your story.
It’s long been the case that your ‘brand’ is what everyone says about you when you’re not in the room. Well, in this world of social media (and Glassdoor) everyone who has a view of you may let that view be known. Don’t just accept this. Embrace it – and invite audience-generated content as integral to your employer brand evolution. If you’re basing your recruitment messaging on authentic truths, you can afford to be confident and brave.
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