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16 Apr

Treat me like a customer

Posted by: Henry Davies, Practice Leader  |  9:17 am

Written for April 2012 edition of askGrapevine HR online magazine

I have never owned an Audi. But I’d love to. Why? Ads tell me how beautifully made the cars are, owners and journalists tell me how reliable they are, certain models have won awards, friends say how much they love their Audi, and when I did a test-drive, I understood what all the fuss was about. Although I still haven’t bought one, still I receive promotions and invites. Because one day…

Move along the marketing spectrum to the world of recruitment, and there is a very different relationship with the audience. Recruitment has relied on a transactional process rather than building brand affinity. The candidate is often viewed as a commodity – and traded as such. Speaking to one of the largest recruitment consultancies in the UK, and their mantra is about owning the candidate.

Of course, the world is changing – and people are more self-determining in their career choices. But many recruiters and organisations still act in a very linear fashion. While our audience will grab information and be influenced by content, opinion and reputation in all manner of places and over a sustained period of time, there’s still an over-reliance on candidates making an impulse decision.

Impulse decisions are rarely good ones. Last year, one company reported that 84% of candidates coming from job boards failed even to apply. They were simply trawling the job boards for anything remotely relevant. Compare that to the experience of a leading blue-chip company that found that sustained engagement on social media reduced applications and improved quality, and a clear picture starts to emerge.

There’s a need to complement candidate sourcing with content-led strategies. Be where candidates are. Help build awareness and consideration. And create a brand affinity that makes the very best want to work for you. Because one day…

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