Why Your Small Business Needs an EVP and 5 Steps to Build It

June 7th, 2017 Comments off
Employee EVP


If someone were to ask you right now, “What is your EVP?” Would you be able to answer them right away? Or would you have to stop and think about it? Or would you have no idea what they were talking about?

An EVP is short for “employee value proposition.” It’s the set of offerings a company promises its employees in return for contributing their time and talent. What do your employees love about working for your company? What makes working for your company unlike working anywhere else? What benefits – both tangible (health insurance, quarterly bonuses) and intangible (a good work-life balance, autonomy) – do you offer your employees? What does working for your company represent to the outside world? These are all questions that help shape your EVP.

Why you need to define your employee value proposition. Your EVP is critical to attracting the candidates you need and communicating what makes your company a great place to work. It helps you stand apart from other businesses competing for talent and helps strengthen your employment brand. The process of defining your EVP will help you:

  • Re-engage current employees. In order to understand your current EVP and shape it, you have to first talk to your current employees and understand what they value. Enabling them to be a part of this process will not only help you understand their needs, it will empower them knowing that they are making an impact.
  • Refine your recruitment marketing message. Understanding what people love about working for your organization and what makes your company unique will inform the way you communicate with potential candidates moving forward.
  • Attract the right candidates. Sure, you want to attract top talent, but you also want to attract the talent who fit your culture. The more clearly you define and communicate your EVP, the more potential candidates will be able to identify if they are a good cultural fit.
  • Strengthen your business as a whole. According to a study by Towers Watson, companies that deliver a unique EVP — one that integrates total rewards and aligns with the business strategy — are five times more likely to report highly engaged employees and twice as likely to report higher financial performance than their peers.


Here are 5 steps to creating your employee value proposition.

Step 1: Look at the data. If you have any workforce data you’ve collected through the years – such as employee engagement surveys, performance or 360 reviews or exit interviews – start there. This type of data can provide insight into your employees’ level of satisfaction, their opinion of the company and any areas that may be a need improvement.

Step 2: Ask your employees. Who better to help you understand what you offer employees than your employees themselves? Whether through surveys, one-on-one meetings, roundtable discussions or focus groups, solicit honest feedback from your current employees to get a better understanding of your EVP. Some questions to ask include:

  • What made you want to work here?
  • What compels you to stay?
  • Which benefits do you use the most?
  • Which benefits do you wish we offered that we don’t?
  • What would you change about working here?
  • Would you recommend working here to others? Why or why not?

Step 3: Create alignment. Does what you think your EVP is (or want it to be) align with what your employees say it is? And does that match what’s important to your ideal candidate? If the answer to either or both of these questions is no, you need to re-assess the situation and figure out what needs to change in order for the perception (what you want your EVP to be) to match the reality (what your EVP actually is).

Step 4: Craft your message. Now it’s time to define your employee value proposition. Write it down. Put it in your employee handbook. Include it on the “About Us” section of your website. Your EVP is part of your employment brand. You should be able to articulate your EVP clearly and with confidence. Anyone visiting your career site or social media pages, getting email communication from your organization or otherwise interacting with your company should easily be able to find and understand what you offer employees that no one else does.

Step 5: Deliver on your promise. It’s not enough to simply create an EVP. You need to follow through on it and ensure you’re living it. Conduct regular surveys with employees to test the effectiveness of your it. Train your managers to understand the EVP and what they need to do to carry it out. (According to the same Towers Watson study mentioned earlier, the most effective companies “train their managers to help articulate the EVP and embed it in their culture.”)

Are you providing value to your employees? Check out What Employees Love About Working for Small Businesses

3 Best Practices to Build Your Employment Brand 

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
Business brand strategy concept background.

For small business owners wishing to improve their employment brand, figuring out what distinguishes their company as a great place to work is only the first step. Getting the word out must be a priority. Use these tips to help build your small business’s employment brand and entice prospective talent.

Go all out online

Modern job seekers scrutinize the Internet for information on companies of interest, so be sure they have awesome things to discover about your small business. Keep your message consistent across platforms to establish identity, and aim to really show viewers what you’re all about through each of the following:

Colorful pictures, slice-of-office-life videos, personality-rich profiles of team members, and entertaining blog posts encourage candidates to get excited about your workplace and envision their own career there.

In addition to continuing to provide engaging, welcoming content, focus on personal connection. Respond to comments and questions in a timely manner, which will demonstrate attentiveness and set the stage for continued dialogue.

  • Personal profile

As a small business owner, you are the face of the company. Expect people to check you out, and seize that opportunity to further promote your employment brand. Turn the summary section of your LinkedIn profile, for instance, into a place to express your lifelong obsession with innovation or to tout the importance you place on work-life balance.

  • Job postings

Wherever their placement, job listings should go beyond simply what you want for the position at hand. View them as opportunities to promote your corporate culture, mission and workplace perks.

Build relationships

Think beyond the need to fill current vacancies. Establishing an employment brand involves acquiring a pool of connections. Follow up with people who expressed interest in your small business at a job fair. Guest lecture for a college class, and ask the professor to introduce you to outstanding students. Consider developing an internship program. Engrain your small business in both your industry and community. 

Involve your employees

Who better to sing the praises of working at your small business than the people actually there? Send your most enthusiastic off to serve as employment brand ambassadors at collegiate recruiting events and trade shows. And be sure to enlist your team in social media efforts. Not only are their personal networks likely to be much larger than the number of corporate followers, users tend to trust and pay attention to messages received from those they know. Regularly remind workers that their posts, blog comments, and employee reviews on sites such as Glassdoor are appreciated because they help grow the company’s employment brand. Worried what they say may not be flattering? Ask that workplace concerns be brought to your attention rather than vented. You’ll gain insight about what areas need improvement and further establish yourself as a caring employer.

Learn more about the importance of building your employment brand. Check out 5 Big Reasons to Build Your Small Business Employment Brand. 


The TA Technology I’m Putting on My Santa List

December 7th, 2016 Comments off
TA technology wish list

I love this time of year! You get to put your TA budget together for next year, you find out how much you get to play with and you can start dreaming about all the cool stuff you can do for next year.

If you’re like me, most of your Santa list was stuff that your rich friends already had. I grew up fairly blue collar, so my stocking was stuffed with socks and underwear. A nice winter coat and new boots were probably going to be under the tree somewhere. I grew up understanding you get the things you need for Christmas, first, and if there was some left over budget you might get something you want.

I’ve run my TA budget, over the years, the same way. Sure, I love looking at all the new shiny, cool technology on the market, but first, let me get the technology I really need to make my shop run efficiently and effectively. So, if I was looking at putting my Santa list together for TA tech this year, this is what I would be asking for:

  1. Sourcing technology. People Aggregators, like CareerBuilder’s sourcing platform and a few others, are the perfect for filling your pipelines with passive candidates, different from what you get from candidate databases and your normal “post and pray” sourcing strategy.
  2. SMS candidate messaging. A few ATSs already have this as part of their platform, or there are specific products on the market that will work with your ATS or CRM technology that allows you to text candidates directly. If you run a serious TA shop, your recruiters must have the ability to text candidates from your TA tech stack.
  3. An employment brand that is transparent. Most of us have this made-up employment brand. It’s not bad, but it’s not “us.” I want a brand that truly speaks to who we are. That’s scary because some of us don’t want our candidates to know who we truly are! I do. Just like our families. We love them to death and we have issues. I want people who want all of that, not just the good stuff! There’s great storytelling technology on the market that helps your employees truly share the real story of who you are as an organization.
  4. Hiring managers who own the talent on their team. TA isn’t responsible for the recruiting on your team. TA is responsible for helping you attract and select the best talent possible for your team. Ultimately, you – Mr. or Mrs. Hiring Manager – are responsible for the talent on your team. Want to completely change the talent culture in your organization? Make this one change! This means I need an ATS that is truly collaborative across our entire organization. Most aren’t.
  5. Candidate Relationship Marketing (CRM) technology. I need something to help me keep in contact, on an ongoing basis, with the talent we didn’t hire, but might just be our next greatest hire. It doesn’t work manually; Santa knows I’ve tried to do it manually for years!


I probably won’t get all of this, but that’s what Santa lists are for, to dream a little. My TA budget looks the same way! I’ll probably get some of what I ask for; I know I’ll never get everything, but little by little we’ll keep getting better. What would you put on your TA tech Santa list this year?

Never miss a thing: Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruitment tips in your inbox.


3 Ways to Turn Your Candidate Experience Around

June 22nd, 2016 Comments off
3 Reasons the Candidate Experience is So Critical

Have you ever looked for a job? It’s quite daunting, and often feels more like you’re swimming through molasses than finding a great new opportunity. Candidates have anxiety, and they are eager to be considered. We often forget that every candidate expects to get the job every time they interview. No one comes to a company thinking they won’t be chosen.

Candidates are so focused on doing well in front of you, the hiring manager or recruiter, that they rarely understand their surroundings. Yet, they are embarking on a new stage in their career, and they should have knowledge of the role they’re considering and the company they may be potentially joining. Though they can find some of this on their own, you have a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from other companies when it comes to how candidates feel about their experience with you as a potential employer.

The candidate experience has to matter as a key component in your recruiting strategy. Work to make it your starting point, instead of something you may remember in the midst of trying to bring someone onto your team. The choices you make now will determine whether or not you’re successful in landing that great talent.

All employers face three realities that impact the candidate experience:

Candidates have a choice, too.

Have you driven around lately? There is a “now hiring” sign on nearly every single building you pass. Hiring is rampant across many industries, and it presents a significant obstacle. If everyone is hiring, the candidate experience becomes even more paramount. You have to take steps to show you’re the company they should choose. This goes well past attracting them through recruiting efforts. This means that candidates need to have more positive interactions with you throughout the entire process.

Every candidate matters.

Candidates aren’t just people who fill jobs. They’re people. We tend to focus on the processes we use – interviews, time to hire, schedules of those involved. The majority of hiring efforts are about the company, and not about the individual who wants to join you. When we are so narrowly focused and are looking for the “one” person who fits, we overlook everyone who has applied. Companies who look at people as a whole will make sure that they are consistent in communication, follow-up and follow-through. It’s true that one person will be chosen, but make sure to remember everyone who is interested.

It’s a chance to highlight your culture.

There are countless blogs about employer brand. The foundation of all that this encompasses is your culture. The experience a candidate has with your company will be their one look inside. Will they see things that are appealing and attractive? Or will they see that they aren’t being included in your culture yet because they are “only a candidate”? This is a chance for you to shine. Be realistic and show them who you really are. Don’t just do the recruiting dance like everyone else. Showing candidates the culture will make their decision easier. Use all that you are to your advantage.

The candidate experience starts with your decision to shift your focus off processes and on to people. Do it — and be the differentiator you’ve wanted to become.

Learn more about how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

How Stryker Created a Candidate-First Career Site

February 19th, 2016 Comments off
Why Stryker Created a Candidate-First Experience

It’s no secret that Stryker is passionate about the candidate experience. And when it comes to people — both their own employees and their candidates alike, Stryker takes that responsibility very seriously.

In the words of Stryker’s CEO, Kevin Lobo, “We believe talent is essential to our success, and are proud to have some of the most talented business leaders in the industry.”

Candidates were top of mind for Stryker when they decided to redesign their site. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “At Stryker, we really pride ourselves on candidate experience and taking care of the candidate from the very beginning of the application process all the way through the interview process.”

Why a New Site – And Why Now?

The team at Stryker knew they needed to provide a better candidate experience, and their current site just couldn’t effectively support that objective any longer. It was affecting everything from their employment brand, to their relationship with candidates to the quality of their applications. They needed a completely fresh site, and the time was now.

Stryker really wanted the new site to exceed candidate expectations: They not only had a fresh, updated look as one of their goals, but also wanted improved search capability, better-managed content and mobile responsiveness. Above all, Stryker knew their new site needed to be centered on an experience candidates would love.

For their recruiting strategy to be successful moving forward, Stryker also needed a career site that would make it easier to search, find and apply for jobs, be responsive on mobile devices, drive more applications through the site, focus on diversity and inclusion to a greater extent, and enable the team to continuously engage with talent who were interested – but not quite ready to apply. The site also needed to look and feel like Stryker from start to finish – down to the last detail.

Did you know? 3 in 5 candidates will not finish a tedious application process, and the majority of candidates who have a negative experience with a company will no longer do business with them as a consumer.

The Redesign Dream Team

Partnering with CareerBuilder was a natural next step for Stryker. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “It really was a partnership between the businesses to make the website what it is today. There was a lot of work and effort on both ends.”

Stryker and CareerBuilder worked together to bring the vision into reality. Stryker relied on CareerBuilder’s candidate experience expertise and job seeker insight to achieve the search goals of the new site. CareerBuilder’s algorithms for custom search were critical in delivering the right talent, and products like Talentstream Engage gave Stryker a way of communicating and engaging with candidates and keeping them warm.

Where Are They Now?

After seven months, Stryker’s new site is a strong success. A few highlights:

  • The new site uses CareerBuilder’s search technology to make it easy for job seekers to see all the company’s available jobs. The result? They’re getting more exposure and, more importantly, more applications to their jobs.
  • Applications are up almost 200% monthly, year over year.
  • With Talentstream Engage, Stryker is re-engaging with candidates who are interested in the company but not ready to apply; so much so that the member count has exploded to over 70,000 people in just 7 months!
  • The response from both senior leaders and employees across the company has been extremely positive.


How and Why to Replicate Stryker’s Success

In today’s job market, the “why” of replicating Stryker’s decision to create a career site centered around the candidate’s experience is obvious: The unemployment rate is down, 3 in 4 full-time workers are open to or actively looking to leave their jobs this year, and hiring is more competitive than ever.

Job seekers are busy, and they have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right job.

The average application process has a startling 90 percent drop-off rate, according to Career Site Market Research’s 2012 study. The last thing you want to do is put additional barriers between you and your ideal candidates with a website that’s turning them off and making it difficult or even impossible for them to apply.

Make it a priority to modernize your own application process in 2016, and increase the quality of applicants with an experience candidates will love.

See Stryker’s redesign in action: Visit their careers site now.

Feel like Stryker’s experience hits a little too close to home? Don’t be stuck as the “before” of a site and brand makeover: Check out Talentstream Engage here to see the possibilities for your own site and to contact our CareerBuilder recruitment experts about how you can drive more applications and improve your candidate experience in 2016 and beyond.

1 in 5 Staffing Firm Clients Read Online Reviews Before Partnering

September 28th, 2015 Comments off
Talent Factor

Staffing firms that rely on referrals may be losing opportunities for new business, according to staffing industry clients. That’s because potential clients are reading your online reviews more than you think: While referrals remain a trusted source for choosing which staffing firm to work with, more clients – especially younger buyers – reported that online sources influence their decisions.

CareerBuilder and Inavero’s annual “Opportunities in Staffing” report reveals that nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) clients of staffing firms and recruitment solutions read reviews of staffing firms online before partnering, versus 11 percent last year.

What does this mean for you?

While a growing number of clients are using online reviews to inform their decision before partnering, 1 in 3 staffing firms reported that they don’t have a strategy for generating online reviews and have no plans to implement one in the future.

That’s a mistake, because the volume of job seekers and staffing firms organizing online is only expected to grow, and ignoring their presence is a big missed opportunity to attract and inform passive users and clients.

Upgrading your image online, and improving your candidate experience, are essential to the wellbeing of your staffing firm. Check out CareerBuilder and Inavero’s annual “Opportunities in Staffing” report for even more insights and trends.

Want to receive Talent Factor by email? Subscribe here and get a brand new recruiting industry statistic delivered to your inbox every Monday. Join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.

Empower 2015 Recap: ‘The State of the Health Care Workforce’

September 25th, 2015 Comments off
State of the HC Workforce

HR professionals in the health care industry recently joined Inavero’s Founder and CEO Eric Gregg at Empower 2015 for a breakout session about the findings from CareerBuilder’s 2015 Health Care Workforce Study.

The goal of the session was to uncover the truth about what’s happening in health care recruitment today, provide best practices to apply to talent acquisition and retention strategies and demonstrate how to create a better candidate and employee experience.

If you missed the session, never fear. Here are five key takeaways you can start using today:

No. 1: Find Candidates Who Love What You Offer

Gregg started off by sharing a visual example of Girl Scouts selling cookies in front of a marijuana dispensary. His point? Just like these smart, savvy girls did, you have to identify who are the most likely candidates to love what you offer and find a way to get to them.

And considering the complexity of the job search today, targeting them can prove to be a challenge. The typical health care candidate utilizes between three to four different types of resources during their job search, according to the study. So if you want to recruit top talent, you need to reach them with consistent messages of differentiation and employment branding across multiple platforms.

No. 2: Put More Emphasis on Mobile

Eighty-six percent of the health care workforce has a smartphone, and they’re using it in their job search. They’re researching companies, searching for jobs and communicating with employers. So not only should your organization’s career site be mobile-optimized, you need to consider whether your emails are mobile-friendly as well.

Health care workers have an expectation that your communication channels will be mobile-optimized. In fact, when coming across a health care provider’s website that is not, half of employees believe your organization is behind the times. As Gregg pointed out, this leaves a bad taste in their mouth if they try to visit your site or engage with your email in a mobile environment and it doesn’t work. And the last thing you want to do is give potential employees a bad impression.

No. 3: Understand the Candidate’s Mindset

As Gregg reminded the audience, when people are job hunting, they are at one of the most stressful points of their lives. Gregg referenced a study conducted a few years back that asked respondents what life events they considered to be more stressful than their current job search. Fifty-seven percent said they think that a family sickness or illness is less stressful than their search. That just goes to show what state of mind a candidate is in when they’re looking for a new opportunity.

So, when a candidate is interacting with an employer, the employer can either make things less or more stressful. And people always remember the things that lead to more stress. That creates a huge responsibility – and opportunity – for employers, because they’re laying the foundation as an employer of choice. If you provide candidates with a positive hiring experience, and show them you have what they want, you’ll become that employer of choice.

No. 4: Invest in Training for New and Seasoned Employees

The study showed just how big of an impact training has on employee satisfaction and engagement. When it comes to both onboarding and ongoing training, the more extensive the training, the more likely the employee is to recommend the organization as an exceptional place to work.

Professional development – typically delivered through some type of formal training – is a critical driver of overall loyalty to an organization. So, while it may take some investment upfront, it will pay off in more satisfied employees and a strong employer reputation.

No. 5: Reinforce the ‘Why’

When asked what the most rewarding aspects of their job are, “helping people” was far and away the top answer (36 percent; the next highest on the list was “growing your skills/learning” at 12 percent).

It’s so easy to get into the minutia of the job that employees forget the big picture, or why they got into health care in the first place. As an employer, you should reinforce this “Why” to your staff. Do this by telling stories of how a department or individual impacted someone’s lives. By reminding them about their role in helping others, it will ultimately help with retention.

In Conclusion: A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Gregg’s parting thought was that making changes to processes takes time and experimentation – some things will work, and others won’t. Progress isn’t always going to be pretty, but there will be big lessons in both your successes and failures that you can apply the next time around. He also stressed that employers have a huge responsibility because they’re involved in hiring/the job search, which is one of the most personally defining parts of a candidate’s life. So as an employer, you owe it to candidates to improve the process.

Want even more insights from the 2015 Health Care Workforce Study? 

What Health Care Candidates Want Out of Their Next Employer

July 9th, 2015 Comments off
health care employment

When filling an open position, you have an ideal candidate in mind, and the qualities, education and skills the candidate should possess are detailed in the job description. While you may be looking for that perfect fit, don’t forget that the candidates themselves have their own wish lists of what their desired position and the company they’d work for can offer them.

And in this candidate-centric economy, candidates can be picky.

A new CareerBuilder survey provides insight into what today’s health care candidates want out of an employer, what roadblocks they face when it comes to locating that perfect employment match – and the implications these findings have on your recruitment strategy.

Cultural Connection

Factors such as salary and benefits will always be important to most candidates when it comes to a job opportunity, but fitting in continues to be more and more vital to a health care candidate’s decision to pursue a company.

When asked which attributes where most important to pursuing a new health care position, 62 percent of respondents named “company culture,” up considerably from 32 percent in 2013. It’s clear that candidates are looking for companies that they can identify with and can see themselves working for.

chart 1

Conversely, when asked what factors would be considered grounds for eliminating a potential employer, “Not a fit with company culture” ranked high on the list, increasing significantly from two years prior (55 percent in 2015 compared with 31 percent in 2013).

Why it matters: It’s more crucial than ever to have a strong employment brand, one that tells the authentic story of what it’s like to work for your company. Shout these messages from the rooftops – starting with a robust career site and including an engaging social media presence. And the emphasis here is on authentic – if candidates don’t feel like what they’re seeing and hearing from your company is accurate, they won’t be afraid to eliminate themselves from the running.

Challenge Accepted

Click to see larger image

Click to see larger image

One of the biggest indicators that health care organizations are living in a candidate-powered world is the perceived ease in which some candidates find the hiring process. The number of respondents who didn’t encounter any roadblocks when applying for a health care position, while still relatively low, doubled from 10 percent in 2013 to 21 percent in 2015.

Why it matters: This once again reinforces the intensely competitive environment health care organizations are facing due to high demand and low supply of qualified talent. Candidates are finding it easier to land their desired job, which makes it your job to provide a hiring experience that stands out from the rest of the competition. It also means you need to know where your candidates are looking and make sure you’re in front of them so you don’t miss any opportunities to interact with your next potential employees.

Training Days

While some candidates say they are breezing through the hiring process, others are still facing hurdles to their happy employment ending. “I don’t have the proper education/training/degree” was one of the top answers to, “What are the biggest challenges you encounter when applying for a health care position?”

Why it matters: Your organization may be struggling to find qualified talent to fill open positions, and that could in part be because you’re overlooking candidates who don’t – on paper – have all of the qualifications necessary to fill your open positions. But with a little extra training or reskilling, they could be a great fit.

Considering that 71 percent of respondents have increasingly seen the negative impact that extended vacancies can have on employee morale – and in turn – patient care, there’s merit to providing on-the-job training to help close the skills gap. It may be an investment – but it’s worth it if it means filling positions more quickly and efficiently and avoiding the cost of turnover caused by low employee morale.

What do candidates really think about you when they’re going through the hiring process? Find out in “4 FACTS ABOUT HEALTH CARE CANDIDATES TO REVIVE YOUR RECRUITMENT STRATEGY.”













Attracting candidates: What is your reputation worth?

June 19th, 2015 Comments off
reputation conceptual meter

Nowadays, potential candidates have more and more opportunities to check employers’ reputations. Potential candidates can use their social networks to glean information about employers. They can also rely on rating websites that are specifically designed to inform people about the attractiveness of various workplaces. For employers, this raises the question of how important it is to maintain a good reputation, and a good online reputation, in particular. Research yields some key lessons about the value of a good reputation.

  1. A good reputation attracts more candidates

My colleague Aaron Sojourner and his co-authors Alan Benson and Akhmed Umyarov have created fake employer profiles online on Amazon Mechanical Turk. In their study, they randomly endowed some employers with good reputation, others with bad reputation and others with no reputation. Employers with good reputation attract roughly twice as many candidates as employers with bad reputation, and 50% more candidates as employers with no reputation. If you don’t yet have an online reputation, it’s time to get one, and ideally a good one!

  1. A good reputation does not always attract better candidates

Even though employers with a better reputation attract more candidates, they don’t necessarily attract better candidates. In the study I just mentioned, they found that people who worked for employers with a good reputation did not perform any better or worse than people who worked for bad reputation employers.

  1. A good reputation is worth its weight in gold

How much is your reputation worth? My own work with Ronald Wolthoff using CareerBuilder.com data shows that a 10 percent increase in compensation increases the number of applicants by 7 percent. This means that the number of candidates increases less than one for one with compensation. Taken literally, this implies that an employer with a bad reputation would need to pay more than twice as much as an employer with a good reputation to get the same number of candidates! In other words, a good reputation is worth its weight in gold.



4 Ways to Manage a Boring Employer Brand

May 27th, 2015 Comments off

Let’s say you work for a solid but boring company in the middle of America. In your role as a talent advisor, you post jobs on the internet and feel bad about your boring company brand. Your benefits are good, but you’re not Google or Facebook. You don’t offer free eyebrow threading and unlimited PTO.

You worry that your company’s value proposition isn’t sexy. You are concerned that you’ll lose the war for talent.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your brand isn’t bad. Here are some tips to manage job-seeker behaviors and make your conservative employer brand pop.


Have you been in business over the last fifty years? Did you survive the recession with minimal layoffs? Does your leadership team come from the local community? Even the youngest and wildest job-seekers might mature and want to start saving for retirement. Shine a spotlight on the values that made you successful in the first place: stability, security and a commitment to your local community.


Brag a little about what you’ve got, baby. You may not offer paid sabbaticals or a dog-friendly work environment, but your defined-contribution pension plan may kick some serious booty compared to your competition. Sing it from the mountaintops. Do you have new office space? A great cafeteria? Do you offer subsidized childcare or access to a life coach? Channel your inner Don Draper and showcase your total rewards. Tell the job-seeker how your company makes its employees happy.


Nobody disputes that women and minorities fall behind in corporate America. It’s an institutional problem that talent advisors are fighting on a daily basis. Do you have a powerful woman on your executive team who exhibits your company’s values? Have you worked hard to promote disabled, LGBTQ and minority employees into leadership roles? Even if you just have one or two examples, tell that story on your career website. And if you’re brave, ask your communications team to help you write a blog post on what you can and will do better in the future.


Finally, remember that job-seekers don’t run from clearly articulated job descriptions that are honest, compelling and authentic. Managing candidate behavior means managing your behaviors as talent advisors. Do good work. Write great job descriptions using the best practices in the industry. Source, screen and interview candidates in a timely fashion. And remember that “boring” is in the eye of the beholder.

4 Ways to Manage a Boring Employer Brand

May 27th, 2015 Comments off

Let’s say you work for a solid but boring company in the middle of America. In your role as a talent advisor, you post jobs on the internet and feel bad about your boring company brand. Your benefits are good, but you’re not Google or Facebook. You don’t offer free eyebrow threading and unlimited PTO.

You worry that your company’s value proposition isn’t sexy. You are concerned that you’ll lose the war for talent.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your brand isn’t bad. Here are some tips to manage job-seeker behaviors and make your conservative employer brand pop.


Have you been in business over the last fifty years? Did you survive the recession with minimal layoffs? Does your leadership team come from the local community? Even the youngest and wildest job-seekers might mature and want to start saving for retirement. Shine a spotlight on the values that made you successful in the first place: stability, security and a commitment to your local community.


Brag a little about what you’ve got, baby. You may not offer paid sabbaticals or a dog-friendly work environment, but your defined-contribution pension plan may kick some serious booty compared to your competition. Sing it from the mountaintops. Do you have new office space? A great cafeteria? Do you offer subsidized childcare or access to a life coach? Channel your inner Don Draper and showcase your total rewards. Tell the job-seeker how your company makes its employees happy.


Nobody disputes that women and minorities fall behind in corporate America. It’s an institutional problem that talent advisors are fighting on a daily basis. Do you have a powerful woman on your executive team who exhibits your company’s values? Have you worked hard to promote disabled, LGBTQ and minority employees into leadership roles? Even if you just have one or two examples, tell that story on your career website. And if you’re brave, ask your communications team to help you write a blog post on what you can and will do better in the future.


Finally, remember that job-seekers don’t run from clearly articulated job descriptions that are honest, compelling and authentic. Managing candidate behavior means managing your behaviors as talent advisors. Do good work. Write great job descriptions using the best practices in the industry. Source, screen and interview candidates in a timely fashion. And remember that “boring” is in the eye of the beholder.

Employer Brand: How to Remarket and Re-Engage Candidates

May 22nd, 2015 Comments off
One bright color smiling pencil among bunch of gray sad pencils

Last month, I bought three pairs of awesomely impractical shoes. Then I came home and found myself mindlessly surfing the Web and checking out a popular shoe site to see if there was anything else that might catch my interest.

Of course, I didn’t need any more shoes. The latest additions to my collection had just been carefully placed in their new home in my closet — not yet worn. But that’s never stopped me from looking at new shoes.

After a few minutes of searching online, I came across a glorious pair of electric blue pumps. Faux snakeskin. Four-inch heels. On sale. Intrigued, I clicked on the image to read the reviews from those who had purchased them.

My favorite shoes, ever.” “Stunning!” “I bought this shoe in every color!”

There was even a video of an employee unboxing the shoes, walking around in them, and talking about how comfortable they were.

I began to picture myself in the shoes. I was about to click on the ‘add to cart button’ when I snapped out of it. The practical voice in my head reminded me that I had just purchased several pairs of shoes. I closed the website and turned off the computer.

But the next day, those shoes began to pursue me. Whether I was reading an article on a news site, or scrolling through Facebook, a picture of those lovely blue pumps appeared in my sidebar practically begging me to come back and complete the purchase.

What does my shoe story have to do with your role as a talent advisor?

It is an accurate description of how candidates behave in the job search process, and how companies can (and should) continue to engage with those who have expressed some level of interest in their organization — even if they drop out of the application process at some point.

Similar to a searching for a product, job seekers come across job openings through a variety of methods, including referrals from their personal/professional networks and online searches.

Whether or not they are actively looking for a job, prospects may be pulled into the consideration process by a compelling job description, information about the work environment and company culture, and employee or customer testimonials.

However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who checks out your job postings will apply for a job or sign up for more information from your company on the first visit. Assuming that online job seeker behavior is similar to consumer behavior, most will not. But marketers know that consumers who have expressed an interest in a product or service have a higher probability of making a purchase than those who have not, so they invest money in remarketing and re-engaging with potential customers who have completed some portion of the buying process – which is why the blue shoes haunted me.

As talent advisors, we must think like marketers when recruiting talent into our organizations.

Whether we spend recruitment advertising dollars on retargeting campaigns or use social media, personal interaction, or email marketing to keep our employer brand and employment opportunities top-of-mind with prospects, we need to look at the talent acquisition process as a long game. The more we engage with our potential customers (candidates), the more we increase the chances of a conversion.

Ultimately, I did buy the amazing blue shoes because the remarketing efforts kept reminding me that my life was not complete without them.

There are likely some great candidates out there who previously dropped out of your application process at some point. Either the time wasn’t right, or they weren’t convinced it was the right opportunity for them. How can you learn from the best consumer marketing practices and show them what they’re missing?

6 Must-Knows for a Better Candidate Experience

May 21st, 2015 Comments off
Check out these 6 tips to a better candidate experience based on the 2015 Candidate Behavior Study by CareerBuilder and Inavero

We’ve talked before about how devastating ignoring candidates can be to your business — and guess what? The rules haven’t changed. If anything, as technology continues to be more and more intertwined in job seekers’ personal and professional existence and as their expectations of employers get higher, it’s all the more vital that you as an employer learn how to communicate with the people who want to work for you.

Or, you know, don’t — but don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Candidates are your customers

The experiences candidates have throughout the application process can make or break their impression of a company, as a new CareerBuilder study shows. Not only may candidates be so turned off by a bad experience that they’ll opt out of applying — they may also choose to stop being your customer (and may tell others to do the same).

The 2015 Candidate Behavior study, conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder, surveyed more than 5,000 workers and 2,000 hiring decision makers about the hiring experience. The study sheds light on the differences between what candidates expect from potential employers during the job application process — and what employers actually deliver.

Did I mention those differences are quite vast?

So what do you need to know right now about the candidate experience to help you better meet their expectations and get more great people applying to — and happy with — your company?

1. Candidate experience can impact your bottom line.

Though 82 percent of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on their company when a candidate has a bad experience, 58 percent of candidates are actually less likely to buy from a company if they don’t get a response to their application.

Conversely, 69 percent of candidates are more likely to buy from a company if they’re treated with respect throughout the application process.

Money talks: Check out these three key ways to get your execs to care about the candidate experience.

2. You need to use data to really connect with candidates.

Even though candidates consult up to 18 resources throughout their job search — including job boards, social networking sites, search engines and online referrals — 58 percent of employers don’t use tracking or coding technology to learn where their candidates are coming from. Consequently, they may be missing opportunities to connect with candidates where they are actually searching.

Can you put a number to it? Find out more about using data to connect with your candidates

3. Candidates prefer bad news over none at all.

For some candidates, the myth of the infamous application “black hole” is all too real. Fifty-two percent of employers say they respond to less than half of the candidates who apply, which is problematic: Not only do most candidates expect an automated reply that acknowledges their application, the majority (84 percent) also expect a personal email response (even if the news is negative).

What does “candidate relationship management” really mean? 

4. Ongoing communication is critical for candidates.

When it comes to candidate communication, many employers are falling way short. Even though 41 percent of candidates expect to be notified post-interview if they weren’t chosen for the job, 73 percent of candidates who interviewed with companies said they were never given an explanation of why they didn’t get the job.

Read more about why unresponsive HR has got to go.  

5. Candidates want you to be personal and simple.

When it comes to keeping candidates engaged and interested in their opportunities, a company’s application process can be its own worst enemy. Forty percent of candidates feel the application process has become more difficult in the last five years. Of those, 57 percent complain the process is too automated and lacks personalization.

Get tips on getting human to personalize the candidate experience. 

6. Candidates may be willing to accept lower salaries.

As noted earlier, treating candidates well is good for the bottom line. More than 3 in 4 candidates (77 percent) are willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; even more (83 percent) would do the same if the company had a reputation as a great employer.

Want to improve your company’s rep? Make sure you’re avoiding these three pitfalls.

These findings underscore the importance of having a strong employment brand. Even so, 52 percent of employers do not have one, giving the other 48 percent a distinct edge when it comes to capturing in-demand candidates at competitive prices.


Get the rest of the story on how to improve your relationship with candidates: Join the Candidate Behavior webinar or download the full report.


May Twitter Video Chat: Candidate Behavior

May 18th, 2015 Comments off
April Twitter Video Chat: HR’s Role in Workforce Diversity

After the recession, employers held a lot of power in the jobs market. Today, that power has shifted. The competition for talented candidates has spiked and job seekers know it. In order to attract and recruit the best workers with the skills your company needs, you need a deeper understanding of candidates’ expectations and their experiences.


Our friendly team of talent advisors — Laurie Ruettimann, Jennifer McClureTim SackettSteve Browne, Neil Morrison, and special guest Rosemary Haefner — got together to discuss candidate experience in our monthly Talent Advisor Twitter video chat.


watch the twitter video chat 


>> Follow our amazing talent advisors on Twitter: @CBforEmployers @lruettimann @jennifermcclure @timsackett @sbrownehr @neilmorrison @haefner_r

We welcome all human resources professionals, recruiters and talent acquisition leaders to become part of the evolution! Sign up now to start getting Talent Advisor in your inbox.

Miss last month’s Talent Advisor Twitter chat? Here’s a recap so you can get up to speed. Join us for a brand new Twitter video chat at 12 p.m. Central on Tuesday, June 23. And follow us on Storify for regular updates.

Unresponsive HR Has Got To Go

May 11th, 2015 Comments off
Call Waiting

I have a magnificent job as the Executive Director of Human Resources for LaRosa’s Pizza, but I haven’t always had this job.

Very early in my career, I left my first job at a Fortune 100 Company. I left on my own because I just didn’t fit into that culture. I met with a recruiter who specialized in placing human resources professionals. I thought I would have a leg up because my first job out of college was at a well known, global company that is a leader in HR practices.

I didn’t know how wrong I was.

My interview with the recruiter felt like an interrogation. He peppered me with questions and asked, “Now, why did you leave this great company? What were you thinking?”

He was obsessed with my former employer and seemed to wrap his attachment around every question he asked me. I became very frustrated and—because I was young and impetuous–I shot back, “If it’s such a great company, why aren’t you working there?”

Again, I was young and impetuous. The recruiter was caught off guard and told me, “You’ll never work in HR in this town again.”

I thought that was a pretty broad over-generalization, but I probably deserved it. I never did hear back from him, and the sad part is that I rarely heard back from any employer. After several months, I thought that this recruiter might be right.

The reality was that HR departments just didn’t respond. I’m not talking about being untimely. I’m talking about not responding at all.

I remember how awful this felt, and vowed that when I landed a new human resources job, I would not repeat the same mistakes.

Throughout the rest of my career in HR, I have learned that talent advisors must adopt an “others” perspective. Every single candidate you meet may be a flop, or they could be the perfect fit. You don’t know until you meet several folks and find a good match. But those “others” who didn’t get the job have incredible value—as brand advocates, as future applicants—even though they didn’t get the job.

By changing the way in which HR traditionally considers all applicants and candidates, you can break the stereotype and become more responsive. Talent advisors must understand that anyone who applies for a job is excited, anxious and willing—and probably flawed in some way. Embrace the mindset that you can and must be more human and more consistent in communicating with your talent pool throughout the hiring process. If some applicants and candidates don’t make it, let them know. Encourage them to do well as they continue their search. Be a positive influence on them.

Always remember this: you may think that you will never be in the candidate’s shoes, but chances are you will at some point in your career. I would ask you—how would you like to be treated?

3 Ways to Leave the Employer Branding Up to Your Employees

April 14th, 2015 Comments off
Employer branding

By Kelly Robinson, founder and CEO of Broadbean Technology

Tim Sackett (@TimSackett) brought up a great point about employer branding in his post, “How Fake is Your Employer Brand.” Tim said:

I think most employment brands are completely fake. The reason I feel this way is because HR and executives approve the messaging. We, HR and executives, are the last people who really know what our employment brand truly is.

Is Tim correct? Well, it depends on who you ask – 36 percent of HR departments manage the employer brand. If you ask HR, execs and marketers who have worked so hard to build out employer branding strategies and campaigns, you’re probably going to get a little bit of backfire. However, if you ask an employee who was completely duped by his or her employer’s branding facade then you’ll find some agreement.

How do we get HR, execs and marketers to be more transparent with their employer branding initiatives? Well, let’s try leaving the branding up to the employees (with a little bit of HR’s direction and marketing’s creativity).

Here are three ways to cut the BS on your employer branding strategy and ensure that your company is honestly represented to job seekers.

  1. Forget the staged, produced video interviews with employees.

Encourage employees to document glimpses of what a typical day in the life would be like at your company and find a way to creatively portray it. Use these videos to show what it’s really like around the office instead of using staged, produced videos … what a snooze.

What do job seekers really want to see? Well, 29 percent of job seekers believe employers don’t do a good enough job reinforcing why their company is a good place to work. One of the best ways to show how your company is a good place to work is through honest, raw footage of your employees in their day-to-day activity. Is Sue always in a good mood and loves to give compliments? Show it. Does Jeff hold the door open for anyone and everyone? Show it. Is Melissa always putting together little contests in the office? Show it, because there are no rules. While these are small acts within your organization, they are what job seekers want to see.

  1. Create specific social accounts that are strictly for employees to use.

Allow them to upload pictures from around the office, team meetings, lunch outings and events that highlight the unique makeup of your workforce. Tumblr and Instagram, photo sharing sites, are growing faster than Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Tumblr is seeing a 120 percent increase in active users, while Instagram is seeing a 64 percent increase. It’s the perfect time to jump on these social networks and show off your employees’ crazy, but hardworking sides.

  1. The employer brand isn’t bound by office walls.

Eighty-eight percent of Millennials want a better work-life balance, so why not show how your employees do just that. Like it was mentioned in No. 1; there are no rules. Start an initiative within your company to find unique stories about the people that make up your workforce. What do they do in their free time? Are they painters? Do they play on a sports team? Have they overcome an enormous obstacle? What differentiates them from the rest of their team and how do they all come together to build an amazing workplace? Job seekers want to see that these employees on your career pages are real people, not actors for your employer branding marketing strategy.

It’s been determined that 2 out of 3 candidates will accept a lower salary if the company gives off a good employer brand. In the candidate-centric recruiting landscape we are in today, employers are fighting for candidates’ attention. Job seekers see through staged initiatives, so instead of being like everyone else… try showing off your brand in a completely genuine way.

This article originally appeared on Broadbean.com.


Kelly Robinson is the founder and CEO of Broadbean Technology, a sourcing and recruitment technology company. Broadbean Technology has created a strong global presence with offices in the US, Europe and Australia The company remains true to the core fundamentals of its inception: “Keep it light and fun while getting the job done!” Kelly writes about leadership and culture, as well as reducing friction in the candidate experience.

5 Steps to Better Employer Branding in 2015

January 23rd, 2015 Comments off
How to infuse technology into your employer branding this year for better results.

There’s no shortage of predictions for what 2015 will bring, but the difference is that this year, employer branding and talent acquisition are nearly right in step with technology use. In a short time, we have moved from Employer Branding 1.0 to Employer Branding 3.0.

Regardless of the technology — disruptive, enabling, look-alike or whatever else you call it — there are some fundamentals to keep in mind if you want to nail a cohesive and effective employer branding strategy this year.

Follow these five steps to better employer branding in 2015:

1. Develop a clear and consistent message.

It’s important for talent advisors to develop a brand, message and voice that is independent of the corporate message. Talent advisors should retain control of how, where and when messages are delivered. Do your research, both internally and externally, and develop a tone that makes sense to your audience. Deliver it with the type of content they’ll respond to — video, blog, or even a podcast. (Yes, we said a podcast! You yourself may have gotten sucked into the recent “Serial” podcast.) Remember that people don’t talk in marketing messages or corporate-speak, and neither should you.

2. Fish where the fish are.

Social networking sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are gaining traction as a way to showcase an employer’s culture. Candidates want to hear directly from the employees themselves about what’s it’s like to work for a company. Talent advisors can tap into the momentum of the social Web and answer the call, but before you go crazy, you need to be thoughtful. The best companies don’t just jump on Twitter, but instead create a sophisticated approach that applies the right tools and technologies and taps into the right venues. You don’t reach software developers in the same way you reach cooks.

Pro-tip: Read about the Zachman “Who, What, Where” Framework and think about how you can frame a message for your audience using his very successful matrix.

3. Let your employees do the talking.

Nothing you say can match the power of your employees’ voices. And it keeps getting easier to let your workers do the talking with HD video on every phone. Employee advocacy posts are credible and resonate with applicants. It doesn’t have to be slick or heavily produced, either. With technology being so accessible, there’s no excuse not to activate employees as talent ambassadors.

4. Use content as a lever.

Ultimately, you just want to hire talented people. Content can be a great way to get people to talk to you and start the recruitment life cycle. Don’t share content just for the sake of it. Use articles or videos as an opportunity to start a conversation. Call it whatever you like — social engagement, interaction or whatever — but just don’t call it spam. Think about how to use content to convert your audience members into awesome candidates.

5. Take stock and recalibrate.

Technology is embedded in our everyday lives, but many of us don’t even notice it. It’s altered our expectations and given us immediate access to many types of information. The delivery platforms themselves can change from right under our feet. What worked six months ago plausibly won’t be what works best today or tomorrow.

As talent advisors, you must stay on the cutting edge of technology to participate in the Employer Brand 3.0 economy. If you don’t at least try to keep abreast of what’s happening in the marketplace, it’s going to become awfully hard to attract, let alone hire, the caliber of employee you need.


Throughout the month of January, the Talent Advisor Portal is featuring HR leaders who will help you win the war for talent by interpreting technology trends, breaking stereotypes and rethinking your approach to technology. New to Talent Advisor? Sign up here to get new articles delivered to your email inbox.