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⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Everywhere I Go" Edition (#112)

⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Everywhere I Go" Edition (#112)
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd • Issue #112 • View online
My mission: move the conversation around employer brand forward.

Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
In this issue
  • How to engage candidates?
  • Are you a contrarian? Are you?
  • Lessons from cult-building from sports teams
The big idea
For better or worse, recruiters are salespeople. (Sadly, we live in a world where that sentence sounds derogative, which it isn’t.) They hunt for leads, they pitch companies and opportunities, they facilitate through the “buying” process, and they help close the deal. What they sell changes lives, but it is still sales.
So there are a lot of lessons to be learned from selling within recruiting, and I think the most important one is this: No one cares that you’re hiring.
Salespeople deal with this deep indifference all the time. They have a product or service that can help someone (or a business, perhaps). This offering is will save money/make money/provide insight that makes money/save time/limit regret, etc. This isn’t snake oil, it’s a product with clear benefits to the right buyers.
So how does a good salesperson sell something obviously valuable and prima facie useful?
Start with the benefits: I have a way to save you money and time. I have a way that increases conversion 20%. I have a tool everyone you know will be using in one year, so beat them to the punch.
Maybe they start with the buyer: You’re someone who is spending too much time and money doing X. You need more of a certain kind of lead. You run a business and you’re seeing costs go up.
Maybe they start with the problem: Are you struggling to convert leads? Do you need a supplier who anticipates your needs instead of waiting for you to ask? Need to attract customers to your new location?
Maybe start with an emotion: Are you worried you’re getting left behind? Is the fear of an audit keeping you awake at night? Are you concerned that you haven’t positioned your business to maximize customer interest and margins?
There are libraries of books written on how to attract interest because the first lesson every salesperson learns is that until to spark interest within your target audience, no one cares. Everyone is so insanely busy and no one has time to wander around looking vaguely for “new ideas and solutions.” Thus the first job of a salesperson is to get someone who is busy worrying about seventeen other things to see IMMEDIATELY that what you are selling obviously can help the buyer.
That means, you never see a salesperson post on LinkedIn, “I’m selling!” Of course they are selling! They’re a salesperson. It’s their job to sell. But if I’m a small business and you sell hydrogen-fueled generators the size of Winnebagos, why should I care that you are selling?
So why do so so so SO many recruiters (and god help us, recruitment marketing professionals and even many employer branders), start their LinkedIn posts with “I’m hiring!”
Of course you are hiring! You’re a recruiter! It’s your job to recruit! But if I’m a nurse and you’re hiring middleware developers, why should I care that you’re hiring? You’re not hiring me!
There are currently 2.1M recruiters on LinkedIn (and at least that many hiring managers) and they all seem to be saying “I’m hiring!” (or the slightly less egregious but no more valuable “Join me!”). It’s like going to a food court and every business has a sign that says, “we have food!”
Recruiters have been trained and socialized that they always need to cast the widest net possible, to say the most generic thing because… well, what if a wonderful candidate looks and is turned off by something specific? This is a fear-based driver because they know they would rather have two great candidates rather than 100 random candidates where there’s a potential for two of them to be great, but they are so FOMO-driven that they say… nothing.
In 1972, Hawaii Five-0 was the third-most-popular show on TV, getting roughly 18-20 million people every week. 5-0 isn’t great TV. It was built purely for the purpose of stopping the story every 10 minutes with a cliff-hanger to sell you detergent. Were there 5-0 fans? Maybe. But it was TV made for everyone and thus was only slightly more appealing than watching Bill Bixby pretend to be a magician.
40-some years later, Ted Lasso was seen by about only 7 million people. Besides the Emmys and the adulation, Ted Lasso is a show people adore. The talk about it. They engage with their friends and co-workers about it. This is a show that isn’t competing with two other channels, but with about 2 million other options. It is a show with a point of view, which means it isn’t for everyone. But for the people who get it, it is exceptional. It’s appointment TV.
Great recruiters understand that they need to be specific, that they need to give people a reason to engage. Why?
Because recruiters know that candidates don’t care about recruiters. Candidates care about themselves.
If your recruiting messages aren’t about the candidate, they might as well not exist.
Headlines!
How to Be a Smart Contrarian
Build a Cult; Build like Sports
The Must-Have's of Recruiter Communication
Three Surprising Ways AI Can Drive More Successful Job Searches
Build a truly amazing culture?
Want Better Thought Leadership? Tell Better Stories.
4 ways to help your team move from tactical to strategic communications
Putting Dignity at the Core of Employee Data Use
Inside the fortune cookie
Rules usually don’t give you an answer. They hide the answer. - Jasmine Bina
Thanks, everyone!
There are now more than 1,000 links in the link archive. Enjoy!
Reminder: The more people at your org who read my books, the better your job will get! employerbrandbook.com (They’re free!!!)
Finally, if you have a question, just reply to this email and it comes directly to me.
Cheers and thanks!
-James Ellis (LinkedIn | Twitter | Podcast | Articles)
Where the subject line came from:
The Call-Everywhere I Go
The Call-Everywhere I Go
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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