⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Things Can Only Get Better" Edition (#120)

⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Things Can Only Get Better" Edition (#120)
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd • Issue #120 • 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
  • The state of job searching
  • More employee advocacy
  • Place, People and Past
  • Talent community hacks
The big idea
So, my secret is out: I am moving day jobs.
Though I don’t talk much about my day job, I learned a LOT going back to square one and seeing what a candidate gets to go through. That includes job boards, job postings, placement recruiters, blind applications, phone screens, interviews, ghosting, the works.
Here are the (unordered) top things I saw and learned in the last six months:
  • It’s 2021, and yet (effectively) every recruiter starts their call with “so tell me about yourself.” Despite my entire professional life being online, (most) recruiters are ONLY looking at the resume/application.
  • Recruiters are still ghosting candidates.
  • I’m still waiting to hear about roles I applied for in May. MAY.
  • I’m still waiting on a few recruiters I INTERVIEWED with two months ago to tell me if they want to continue the conversation.
  • Companies love to throw you on their mailing list… sorry, I think we’re calling them talent communities now. But they are still newsletters, because I can’t reply to them and I can communicate with any other “members” of the “community.”
  • 99% of non-interactive recruiting messages would be called “spam” in any other context.
  • Workday is the clear marketplace leader in ATSs. But it still is too long, parses information from Linkedin poorly, and doesn’t understand social media URLs well at all (hint: if you use WD, and you see a LOT of drop-off at the “share your websites” section, that’s why).
  • The best ATS is the simplest ATS. That doesn’t mean the process is short, its just that the process of creating a simple application forces companies to really think about what info they need to make a decision instead of asking for everything short of my grandparents’ dog’s name or the phone number of a boss I has twelve years ago.
  • I’m not saying I dislike Zoom/Teams/WebEx (!) meetings, but phone conversations are SOOOO much nicer. With a set of ear-buds, I could walk around the room and chat like a human.
  • If a candidate says they are NOT moving to NYC and the job requires it, don’t schedule a second interview with the head of TA. Why are you wasting everyone’s time?
  • COMPANIES ARE NOT GIVING FEEDBACK, regardless of interview stage. I don’t care how big a brand you are, being selfish and greedy with candidate time (defined as taking without giving) will not pay off down the road. This is doubly-true if this is a candidate with whom you already have an existing relationship with and/or a conversation you initiated.
  • Every career/job site is the same. They say the same things without revealing much of use. Sure, as an EB person, maybe they are hiring me to fix that, but I saw PLENTY of websites that someone paid big money for that were NOT driving any kind of return on investment.
  • In a world of employer blanding, the teeniest, tiniest glimmer of personality or engagement SHINES LIKE A LIGHTHOUSE. Even a weak joke in a scheduling email is great because you’re attempting to bring some humanity to an inhumane process.
  • I feel sorry for new grads and young talent who don’t understand how TA works. From the outside, it is an insulting, dehumanizing process, and the only target of a candidate’s frustration is the recruiter. A smart company will offer a 15 minute video on how modern recruiting works, showing how many people are involved in a decision, why it takes FOREVER and to encourage the candidate that even good candidates get over looked. We really need to be injecting as much humanity into this process as possible.
Takeaway? The bar is still VERY low. But you (and I) have a lot of work still to do.
Before we get to the articles, can I ask a quick favor? I wrote an article on how to think differently about your EVP and it got nominated for an award. I would really appreciate it if you voted for it (or one of the others if you think they are better) this week. Thank you!
Aligning brand and demand: the future of B2B marketing
Employee Advocacy: Empower Your Team to Tell Your Story
As The Great Resignation Accelerates, CEOs Face A Grand Reckoning
Why We Buy Products Connected to Place, People, and Past
One Person, Many Needs: How Customer Centricity Has Changed
Talent Community Email Hacks (That Work)
Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation
12 Top Certifications HR Professionals Should Pursue To Enhance Their People Skills
Inside the fortune cookie
“The reason conservatives cohere and radicals fight: everyone agrees abut fears, no one on visions.“ -Brian Eno
Thanks, everyone!
There are now more than 1,100 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:
Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better
Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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