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The New Sophisticated Job Seeker and the Role of Employer Branding

Posted by | July 28, 2015 | Employee Engagement, Employer, Hiring, Millennial, On Boarding

Via Recruiting Webinars : Employer Branding takes center stage as Jason Seiden interviews J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of CareerHMO, as they discuss the new sophisticated job seeker and the role of employer branding. We define ourselves by how we spend the bulk of our days at the office. When a stranger asks who are you at a party, 90% of the time the next question out of their mouth is, “and what do you do?” We all do it. And we all make quick snap judgments based on the responses that often times fit our preconceived notions of what we already thought of that job, that industry, or that company.

The Friday Night Problem

Maybe you have experienced the Friday Night Problem. Jason explains it:

If you can’t be as interesting in the 15 seconds when somebody asks you what do you do; that you imagine yourself to be when you’re looking in the mirror and getting ready for the day, it creates a problem

J.T. in her role at CareerHMO has been finding ways to help coach this Career Identity crisis on the candidate side of the recruitment process. We all know about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and it’s J.T.’s observation that there are very few of us at the top of the pyramid and a whole lot of us at the bottom looking for ways to get organized and work up way up that pyramid. “Career is identity. How many times when you meet strangers do you get asked what do you do?…We know are being evaluated and want to be able to answer that question in a way that earns respect that we are proud of, that we feel comfortable. We are so wrapped up with our careers and our identities that it affects how we feel. You have a bad day at work; you have a bad day in life… We haven’t been coached to seek resources.” J.T. acknowledges that this is all changing with the arrival of the Millennials, a generation who have been coached their entire lives.

25 Different People Who Want 25 Different Things

We have a group that recognizes that they like(need) to be coached and we have a working world where coaching at that level and capacity isn’t in the SOP. Not to mention the fact that when you begin to give highly individualized coaching you soon discover that 25 different people want 25 different things to motivate their work. So what’s a manager to do? According to J.T., “Outsource the coaching.”

That could make sense for some companies.

50% of Millennial workers are looking for a new job within 6 months of their hire

Candidates today want to work with companies not for them. We’re finding out it’s the relationship that you have to protect and manage, and recruiters are the ones in the most pain right now as they are caught between conflicting demands of the candidates desires and the needs of the business. J.T. advocates for a larger chunk of the budget to go to the recruiting department who is acting as the de facto gatekeepers managing the employer brand; a task that apparently 16% HR professionals don’t feel they are qualified to do. “Employers need to be more open to the fact that hey I might not be able to keep you for 10 years, and the employee says well yeah I might only be able to go on my journey here for two and maybe come back to you in five. That’s our new world.”

Your Source of Hire Metric is Bogus

What do a LinkedIn Company page, a Glassdoor page and a dedicated career page on your company’s website have in common? They are the bare minimum of what the new job seeker expects to see before they would even consider applying to your organization. In addition, sophisticated job seekers will follow and monitor you company before they even think about applying. Jason shares highlights from a conversation he had with our own, Bill Boorman. Candidates are lurking for months before the actual application process begins. Which channel a candidate lists as the source of hire isn’t really as important what was going on with your company during the months leading up to when they pulled the trigger on applying. Candidates know that the ATS is likely to toss out their application and will work to connect directly on the same level with recruiters or personnel from the company.

A Blog (Podcast sic.) Is a Good Start, but Is Insufficient to Solve this Problem…

Jason and J.T wrap up the conversation acknowledging that we will need a lot more to resolve these issues, more than CareerHMO, and more than our inaugural Resonate podcast. Firms need to think about the recruitment process of the future and what that entails. I don’t think I could do a better job summing up J.T. so in her own words, “Employees no longer work for you, they work with you. They are your business partners. In order to get the best possible business partners, you need to have an incredible employer brand. And the good news is that employer brand will also sell more of your products and services. And instead of creating havoc on your management team and trying to get them to coach these individuals, really do the right thing and outsource that process and use top coaching services to do that for you. Why create it in-house when you can get it done much faster and much cheaper by outsourcing?”

Jason Seiden, CEO & Cofounder, Brand Amper
Jason’s a storyteller. He launched Brand Amper, a brand management platform for recruiting, based on 20 years experience solving leadership and communications challenges for Fortune 500 executives and their employees.

J.T. O’Donnell, CEO & Founder, CAREEREALISM and CareerHMO
J.T. is a career strategist who helps American workers of all ages find greater professional satisfaction. Unlike other advisers, O’Donnell works with both individual clients and corporations, giving her access to emerging workforce trends.

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