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Employer Brand Headlines: The "Right On Track" Edition (#101)

Employer Brand Headlines: The "Right On Track" Edition (#101)
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd • Issue #101 • View online
My mission: Help you understand your employer brand better and make it work for you.

In this issue
  • We’re in an arms race
  • Credible and trustworthy
  • What’s the signal?
  • Culture questions
The big idea
You invest in tools to send more emails and messages. They set up dummy addresses or just filer you out.
You buy AI to sort and rank applicatios. They use AI to optimize their application for the role to get the best possible rank.
You use AI to write a job posting that. will appeal to the most people. They use AI to write a resume that will be the most appealing to companies.
You use tools to float push more jobs out to more boards automatically. They use tools to apply to more jobs automatically.
You build processes to allow recruiters and sourcers to weed out a resume in 6 seconds. They send you applications by video and Tik Tok to slow you down.
You buy testing tools that don’t really resume your own dev process to screen candidates for tech skills. They “train to the test” to ensure a good score even if their actual ability isn’t as good.
Welcome to the recruiting arms race:
  • Your goal is to attract the “right” or the “best” candidates to your job.
  • Their goal is to maximize their choices and get the “best” offers.
Every sexy (and expensive) new tool you see is a response to the issue of not finding the right talent or enough talent. And every one of those tools can be defeated by competing tech.
You buy tools, they counter the tools, so your only option is to buy new tools. The proof? Look at your TA budgets over the last 10-15 years: they are growing at a rate that rivals college tuition. And are we actually any better than we were a year ago? Or will the next tool you buy be that magic silver bullet which will finally solve all your problems?
The terms" arms race" is a misnomer: it suggests a war that can be won. We think of the Cold War and think how spending trillions on military won the day. It didn’t. Our spending forced them to spend and it was a game of who’s country could survive the longest while bearing the burden of such high military budgets. We were playing Self-Roshambo: each side kicking and hurting themselves and hoping that the pain we felt could be tolerated than the similar pain the other felt. Arms races are races to see who can burn resources the longest, making them races you don’t actualy win.
So what’s the answer?
Your tech stack will not solve your recruiting issues, so stop spending money on your tech stack.
You’re looking for the “best” candidate, but your job posting doesn’t show any sense of what “best” means. Your marketing automation touts you as a fantastic place to work, but it doesn’t say for whom or why. You spent a lot of time and money making your application process “super easy” to apply, so don’t be surprised when recruiters complain of being flodded with applications that don’t meet basic criteria.
You can’t spend your way into people wanting to work for you.
The solution is to stop applying industrial revolution thinking to your recruiting. Your job isn’t to collect more applications to be grist for the mill. Your job isn’t to hit 200 applications per requisition. Your job is to help your company (and recruiting) be so clear about who will succeed at your company and why, that only the right people apply and they apply for the right reasons.
The solution to the arms race is to play a different game. Say something different. Talk about things others won’t. Be more open about the realities of the day to day, but tie them to people’s mtivations, to their own “whys.” Don’t spend money showing your people how much you care about them, actually care about them.
It’s not free to create and tell those stories, but at least you’ll be differentiating yoyurself instead of playing a game of follow-the-leader with companies who can (and do) outspend you every single day.
Pay Transparency in Employer Branding
Branding’s Perfect 10 – Genuine, Credible, Trustworthy
These Are The Secret Signals That Lie Beneath Every Successful Brand
9 Incentives You Should Offer to Attract Top Talent
Culture Audit: 21 questions to ask to improve your culture
Trust exercise: How marketers can inspire trust in their brands
Don’t Ban “Politics” at Work
When targets and metrics are bad for business
Quick hits
Inside the fortune cookie
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. - G.K. Chesterton
Thanks, everyone!
Reminder: The more people at your org who read my books, the better your job will get! (They’re free!!!)
There are now more than 900 links in the link archive. And as always, when you reply to this email I will read your questions and comments. Is there any article I should be commenting on? A book? A podcast? Is there something you what to know? How can I help? 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 Breakfast Club - Right On Track (1987) ブレックファスト・クラブ - ライト・オン・トラック
The Breakfast Club - Right On Track (1987) ブレックファスト・クラブ - ライト・オン・トラック
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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