HRM strategy: 6 ideas to consider adding in FY2020

For our Australian friends, end of financial year is fast approaching and we all know what that means: Budget meetings, strategy meetings, process meetings, meetings about meetings, and follow-up meetings to discuss actions from your meeting-meetings.

It’s a busy time.

It’s also an exciting one – time to analyse results, propose changes, start fresh, build on last year’s progress, fix broken systems. I love year-end, can you tell?

Whether you’re deep in the EOFY craziness, or just hitting your own team’s strategic review period, we’ve compiled a bunch of considerations that might get the creative juices flowing for next your phase of planning.

Six easy thought-starters to get your strategic wheels turning

Run a simple candidate experience audit:

When’s the last time you reviewed your candidate experience? Like, ran through the whole process from whoa-to-go, as if you were a candidate yourself? No doubt you’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past year thinking or talking about or even working on different aspects of your candidate experience. If you haven’t also done a full, end-to-end audit, now’s your chance.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the big “audit” word. Get a couple of people from your team together, put out a bunch of halloumi fries and run through this simple audit checklist we’ve pulled together. It’ll give you a good foundation for discussions about thing you’re doing well and stuff you could improve.

*Fake moustache optional.

Test an employee engagement initiative:

We’ve all seen employee engagement become a pretty consistent presence on trend reports over the past year or two. But please, for the love of all the snow in Winterfell, don’t let it fall victim to buzzword fatigue. Building authentic engagement is too important. It’s the cornerstone of virtually every other aspect of HRM.

Without it, your culture is in the ditch, your attraction and sourcing becomes exponentially harder and your performance and retention rates fall through the floor.

Focussing on employee engagement is a bit like planting a tree – the best time to do it is yesterday. Creating sustainable engagement is a long game, with relationships built over time. Now’s a great time to dig out those awesome initiatives I know you’ve had hiding away in your “we’ll do it one-day” drawer and start testing. Run some experiments, design a pilot – who knows, FY2020 might be the perfect proving ground for a small idea that becomes a big company policy.

If your ideas drawer is looking a little empty, you can pull from this comprehensive list of ideas from our mates over at PageUp (which reminds me, stay tuned for our latest ATS integration announcement ?.

Measure something new:

Let’s face it, noone likes a good spreadsheet or reporting metric like a people-person. Take a minute to think about what you’re measuring and where the holes are. For example, how are you measuring your candidate experience?

An increasing number of organisations are using cNPS-style questions to put hard ROI metrics around their candidate experience investment. We’ve developed our own feature to do this for our customers, but a handful of ATS’s are following suit with simple single-question style surveys on offer.

Whatever you choose to use, you’ll need to be aware of industry-specific benchmarks so you know what “good” looks like. In the spirit of collaboration, there’s a crowd-sourced spreadsheet available online for people to (anonymously) share their cNPS scores and determine benchmarks. Based on other people’s entries, you’ll be able to see what other orgs like yours are achieving. It’s the open-source research at its best!

Link your initiatives to your company’s bottom line:

Battling for more budget is a common challenge at this time of year. There’s no more compelling case you can put forward than showing a direct line between the initiatives you want to invest in, and the company’s bottom line performance.

The team at Virgin Media famously showed a causal relationship between their investment in candidate experience and improved sales results. Guess who’s probably not having a fight about more budget allocation for candidate experience work now?

Ok, so you might not have Richard Branson at the helm getting excited about running experiments. There’s great data out there to help you make your case – linking what you do with company performance.

We’ve talked a lot (and a lot) about the impact of culture and candidate experience on bottom-line sales. We’ve also developed an interactive calculator you can use to work out your own candidate experience impact figure. Drop a few commonly-accessible numbers into the calculator fields and we’ll tell you how much a poor CX could be costing you in sales. You could even share it with your Marketing and Customer Experience heads and add their weight to your case – remember, their results (and budgets) are being affected by this too.

Introducing, the cX-Men

Get your values off the boardroom wall:

Now’s the ideal time to check how alive your values really are. Are they 2-dimensional platitudes looking pretty up on your boardroom wall? Or are they living, breathing ideals baked into the way your people interact, work and contribute to your culture?

If you need some inspiration from companies who are doing an absolutely stand-up job of weaving values into their recruitment, culture and HR policies, have a look at this list of our favourite examples.

Or if you’re still a bit stuck on exactly how to define your values or how you could bring them to life, we’ve created a pretty simple workshop template here that you can use to map definitions and come up with cool ideas.

Mine non-HR people for solutions:

Whether you’re trying to improve technical process challenges or communication things, don’t get stuck in your silo.

There’s a wealth of information sitting down the hall in different departments that you can tap. In fact, you have a unique perspective over who in your organisation might have relevant experience in solving similar issues to you – even if they’re in a different context. Use that super-power!

To get your started, take a look at this advice from some of the best, smartest, most experienced CMO’s in the world about how to build employer brand. There’s a gold mine of information out there – you just need to cross the floor every now and then.

Weirdly builds the best candidate experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world. Join Uber, Target, and Virgin Airlines by putting values and soft-skill assessments at the top of your recruitment process. Book a demo with our team today.

A global workout: Multi-language screening with Les Mills

A while back we talked about our new Weirdly language translation offering. Well, this week we’ve launched our first use-case with Les Mills International.

As one of the world’s most respected fitness brands, Les Mills classes are taken in gyms all around the globe. Their recruitment efforts are equally global. That means it’s important every part of the candidate experience is welcoming to candidates from all over the world.

The Les Mills team have integrated a custom Weirdly quiz into their usual JobVite process. This lets hiring managers and recruiters instantly screen candidates based on values and soft-skills alignment. The translation feature means candidates complete the Weirdly quiz in their most familiar language.

So candidates in Portugal or Brazil can answer screening questions, with an awesome branded experience in Portuguese. While candidates in Japan get the exact same quality experience (and answer the same questions) in Japanese.

What’s in it for Les Mills?

By delivering this consistent experience, the Les Mills talent team build comparable data sets from all around the world. Our psych team will work alongside Les Mills to pull out patterns and insights on a regular basis. All this helps their recruiting team build more efficient, inclusive hiring strategies over time.

So we’re talking about layers of benefit here.

For the candidate:

  • An engaging, inclusive candidate experience that takes candidate geography into account
  • Tangible evidence that Les Mills is a truly international brand that cares about supporting a diverse workforce.

For the recruiting/hiring bods at Les Mills:

  • Faster screening based on values and soft-skills early in the recruiting funnel
  • A seamless, integrated process flow with their ATS (in this case, JobVite)
  • A brilliant, globally-consistent employer brand experience
  • Rich data collection over time that’ll help inform and support wider recruiting strategies.

So how does the process work exactly?

For the Les Mills team, this customisation is a seamless experience. The JobVite integration allows the recruiting team to attach a Weirdly quiz with one click as they set up a job. From that point on, everything is automated.

When a candidate clicks on a Les Mills job ad, they complete the standard JobVite application form as usual. On hitting the submit button though, they’re now automatically sent an email invitation to complete a Weirdly screening quiz.

This email (and the quiz they’re linked to) is automatically configured to be delivered in the appropriate language for the market. So if the candidate completed their application via an ad they found on WeChat, the email will be delivered in Chinese. If they found the ad on a German job board, they’ll be sent the exact same email and quiz in German.

This language customisation happens automatically in the ATS without the team having to click any extra buttons or add any steps. It’s super simple and means the recruiting team keeps momentum high by sticking with the process they know works.

Once candidate responses are in, hiring managers can log into the ATS in the usual way to review shortlisted candidates. Their overarching Weirdly score is easy to spot at a glance, right from the candidate list view.

Each candidate also has their Weirdly assessment results attached as an easily printable pdf so managers can check scores against each attribute. It’s a great way for them to get a deeper understanding of each person, as well as a brilliant start-point for interviews.

Do you recruit globally? The simple act of providing a screening assessment in the language your candidates feel most comfortable using speaks volumes about your commitment to inclusivity (as well as improving your application accessibility). Have a chat to our team today about multi-language soft-skills screening.

Carrots beat a stick: The best employee benefits from companies around the world

Dreaming up great benefits is the fun bit of designing your remuneration package. They’re also a key part of bringing your culture and values to life in a tangible way.

As the Weirdly team grows and spreads into new markets, we find ourselves talking more often about what benefits we could design that would really bring our values to life for our people.

Rather than go straight to the usual gym membership and catered lunch ideas, we tapped our customers and PeoplePeople slack community for a dose of inspiration and uncovered some creative, unexpected and frankly, pretty exciting offerings.

The list is too good not to share so without further ado, here are some of the coolest benefits organisations are offering their employees around the world.

Bumble:

I mean, this crew know how to live and breathe their values and that certainly shows in the benefits they offer. With their focus on equality – in the workplace and in relationships, it makes sense that they have a wealth of family-centric benefits up for grabs.

Alongside their 16 weeks of paid parental leave, they list IVF/Egg Freezing and Breast Milk shipping amongst a list of supportive offerings.

Plenty of room for families in this Beehive

General health is a priority for their employees too and, like a lot of companies we came across they provide healthy catering and ‘booch on tap. What’s a bit different about the Bumble team is they also provide a $100 monthly wellness benefit for each employee. This is a super-cool way to show your employees you trust them to know what’s right for themselves, and to avoid the one-size-fits-all wellness programme trap many corporates are falling into.

Oh, and being able to get a haircut right in the office sounds pretty appealing too, tbh.

Wag:


Speaking of wellness programmes, there seems to be a surge of orgs offering counselling and therapy to employees. Companies like Buffer provide their people subscriptions to therapy app, Joyable as a way to help them manage work and life pressure.

In a similar vein, Wag gives each employee access to free, licenced therapists to help maintain their mental wellbeing. It’s a great way to round out the premium insurance and healthy snacks parts of their health benefits package.

I probably doesn’t hurt that you spend your days with these puppers either.

Try top these good boi-nefits. We’ll wait.

Deloitte:

It’s not just the hipster startups making with cool benefits these days. Deloitte’s listening hard to their employees and providing great offerings like on-site physio sessions and pet insurance alongside their generous family-support benefits ($25K reimbursement for adoption costs gets a double high-five from us!).

It was hard to choose a favourite benefit from this crew, but the Career Break offering was the one that got the Weirdly team buzzing the loudest. A three to six month sabbatical to pursue personal or professional growth opportunities is a brilliant idea. On their career site they list this as “Time to refresh and renew to help increase effectiveness, creativity, and productivity”. I mean, is there anyone who can honestly say they wouldn’t benefit from a bit of that?

EY:

For some of us, being able to take blocks of time away from work is less about professional development, and more about wrangling tiny humans during school holiday times. EY Australia has introduced a new “Life-Leave” programme. Employees can opt to take six to 12 weeks of life leave a year to do anything – from traveling to working part-time to spending more time with their kids.

Alongside this, they’re offering a similar Term Time offering where parents can choose to work full time while schools are in session, and part time while the kids are home for holidays.

Avoid this feeling every term

NewsCorp:

Our personal care-relationships go far beyond juggling kids during school holidays of course, and NewsCorp’s US team are working hard to make sure their people have the extra support where they need it.

To help the increasing number of people caring for elderly parents or family members, they’ve introduced generous compassionate leave, emotional and practical support initiatives. Employees in this position are also offered subscription to Wellthy – an app that helps with care coordination and planning and helps alleviate some of the administrative load for these carers.

It’s inspiring to see companies like NewsCorp leading the way on this kind of employee engagement. Facilitating people to manage the challenging and rewarding responsibility of caring for ageing family indicates they’ve really been listening to their employees. Which you know, is a pretty great “benefit” in itself!

Honestly, so many people shared their favourite benefits with us, I could go on all day. We’re excited about digging into some of these ideas and coming up with a list of uniquely “Weirdly” ideas of our own. In the meantime though, we’re keen to keep the inspiration coming. Share your favourite benefits with us in our PeoplePeople Slack community, or anywhere on social media with the hashtag #BestBenefits.

Weirdly creates the best candidate experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world. If you’re interested in soft skills assessments your candidates will love, book a quick demo today.

LinkedIn Trend Report: Building more equality in the candidate-employer relationship

How’s your newsfeed – full of LinkedIn 2019 Global Trend Report think-pieces? The most recent report has been dissected by HR influencers the world-over (including this awesome hottake by our own Aussie team), but it was one small sentence, buried at the bottom of the intro that caught my attention:

“…many companies are starting to embrace a more equal employer-employee relationship—not just because it looks good, but because it’s good for business.”

A more equal employer-employee relationship is good for business. Sounds obvious, right?

Organisations around the world have been implementing policies to support this shift for a while now. Becoming more transparent, working with employees to design flexible, supportive work environments, investing in benefits and learning&development programmes that are exciting and personally fulfilling.
This is cool but the thing that really hooked my attention was the idea that this shift is good for business. There’s a financial benefit to treating your people like, well, people. And if this applies to employees, it has to be true for the candidate/employer relationship as well.

Let’s take that idea for a walk for a second.

What’s standing in the way of a more equal employer-candidate relationship?

Trust, respect and mutual benefit are the cornerstones of any equal relationship. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess most of us have every intention of building our candidate interactions on those founding principles. But the reality of high volume, high pressure recruitment processes mean most of us are missing the mark more often than we’d like.

Sometimes it’s a resourcing thing – not enough time, over-stretched teams, tight budgets.

Sometimes it’s a lack of inspiration, or a sense of overwhelm with the herculean task of changing anything to do with HR/TA process. Talk about facing Everest – changing processes that are embedded across multiple markets and teams can be an intimidating task.

But here’s the good news: Mountains are eaten one, tiny, managable bite at a time. You don’t have to change the whole world. A small change can have big impact when it comes to your candidates feeling more respected or helping them trust you.

What would a more equal candidate-employer relationship look like?

Remember the cornerstones we mentioned earlier? Trust, respect and mutual-benefit – these are deceptively simple to start dialling up in your recruitment process.

It starts (kind of obviously) in your ads and job descriptions. Share real information. Make sure they sound like a human wrote them and give clear, concise, honest information. Think about the ads you see everyday – not just the recruitment ones, think about the hundreds you see each day for cars, snacks, toys, homeware. What makes you instantly feel like a brand is trustworthy? As someone who spent the better part of 10 years analysing this stuff, let me tell you it’s not lots of flashy keywords and seductive messaging. Without fail, it boils down to using clear language, not making overblown promises, and giving people the information they need to immediately understand if the thing is right for them or not. Exactly the same should apply to a recruitment ad.

Is your application process communicating respect? For example, talking about inclusion and your “people-first” culture is undermined by only asking for hard skills or qualification data in your application. Including some way for candidates to share soft-skills and values information with you is a practical way to show you’re considering them as a whole person – not just a resume.

Ahem. There are some really great tools you can use for this. Cough.

Giving feedback hardly seems like a revolutionary idea. But it could be. Consider this:

What if the recruitment process itself was rewarding – a valuable, educating experience for every candidate, even if they don’t progress to the end.

Atlassian are doing an awesome job with this. Using their custom Weirdly quiz to give every potential candidate the kind of valuable insight that makes the time they spent applying worth it.

With this kind of experience, the recruiting team gets smart screening and volume reduction, but more importantly the candidates are educated about the company’s values, made more self-aware about their own and the alignment between the two. This is not a privilege afforded to the shortlist. This is respect the team at Atlassian are showing to Every. Single. Candidate.

The skills-gap and talent shortage challenges we all face aren’t going anywhere soon. But if we use our application process to help educate candidate pools in small ways we could make real inroads to closing that gap. Whether it’s improving self awareness and highlighting opportunities for soft-skill development, or more overt encouragement toward upskilling.

Individually, these ideas make for a better candidate experience – one that builds trust and shows respect. This mutually beneficial approach puts you and your candidate on a more equal footing. You’re sharing the power – allowing them to make more informed decisions, earlier. And, just like LinkedIn’s quote about employees, that doesn’t just make you look good, it’s good for business.

We’ve got some cool examples of companies using Weirdly to deliver a better candidate experience. We’d love to share them with you! Just click the link below to book a quick demo and we’ll also talk you through how Weirdly could work in your process. 

Make your recruitment MORE inclusive with…screening assessments?

Supporting diversity should always be a top priority when designing your screening assessments. For the Weirdly team, it’s been one of our biggest drivers since we wrote our first line of code. Screening assessments that reduce volume and make awesome candidate experiences don’t have to come at the cost of your inclusive, diversity-driving recruitment strategy.

That’s why we run every custom Weirdly question bank through a battery of diversity-qualifying tests.

What’s a custom Weirdly question bank?

If you’re already a Weirdly fan/user feel free to skip this section. For those of you unfamiliar with our awesome screening assessments, here’s the 101:

Weirdly custom assessments test candidates for alignment to your core values and work best early on in your recruitment process – either first stage/pre-application (like an expressions of interest quiz) or post-application. We design each quiz so it’s bespoke to your organisation. That means it looks and feels like you, with your branding, colours, and the kind of engaging interactions your candidates will expect from your brand. But most importantly, that customisation extends to creating a bank of validated questions that reflect your unique culture and values.

Girl looks fabulous just like Weirdly makes your employer brand look and sound

Don’t hide your fabulous away behind default text, guurl

New psych vs Old psych is all about embracing diversity

This is where Weirdly has been described as “new psych” – differentiating us from the staid, “old psych” approach favoured by many of the other assessment tools used in the industry.  

Old psych is based in a very static, one-size-fits-all approach – it rewards uniformity and monoculture. We believe better assessments – more valuable and inclusive assessments – are ones that allow for a more flexible, customised approach. One that not only recognizes how different people and company cultures are, but sees that as a strength – something to be leaned into and enhanced. It’s about celebrating the diversity of different company cultures on offer to candidates, as much as it is about helping those companies build diverse teams.

We’re not throwing the baby out with the bath water, our internal psych team use traditional validation methods to make sure each quiz is rigorously tested and performs as it should. What’s different is we’re not only referencing global or generic norm groups for that validation (old psych standard practice). With Weirdly, your norm group is truly representative of your organisation because it comes from within your own company, and is then continuously post-validated against the candidates you have applying and getting hired.

How do we make sure Weirdly quizzes are as inclusive as possible?

Every quiz and question bank is run through a battery of tests to make sure it’s going to support your diversity strategy. Our team (alongside yours) work to make sure we’re reducing potential for discrimination down to the absolute minimum. That includes things like:

Eliminating gender-bias in word choice by running all questions and copy through tools like Text.io. This also includes using gender-neutral pronouns across the board.

Being inclusive of diverse education levels. By using the Flesch-Kincaid readability checker across every Weirdly quiz we can make sure language complexity is set at approx a 6th-8th grade reading level. Incidentally, this is the same standard major media channels aim for.

Ensuring balanced representation in imagery for our gold level animated or illustrated quizzes. It’s about showcasing people with a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnic identities, ages and abilities.

Using inclusive scenarios for experience-based questions. That means, for example, we’ll take care to frame a sports-related question in a way that’s really inclusive of wheelchair users. And we (mostly) make Jamie resist his urge to write quizzes based entirely around early 90’s hip-hop culture.

This month we’ve also kicked off our latest accessibility project. Our UX crew are systematically auditing and tweaking our user experience (first for candidates, then for customer admins). This will mean our customers can make their Weirdly quiz as easy to complete for someone with dyslexia or vision impairment, as it is for someone without those challenges.

The recognition that “diversity is strength” for an organisation isn’t going anywhere. The opportunity to actively drive that forward is in your hands as recruiters and people-professionals so it’s super-important to make sure your HRTech tools are up to the challenge.

Is creating an inclusive application experience important to your recruiting team? Pick a time now to talk to one of our team about how Weirdly can improve your process.

Read this quick! Weirdly timed screening questions are here

This announcement is going to be straight to the point – the clock is ticking and there’s no time to waste! At least, that’s what your candidates will be saying when they see our new timed questions feature.

Ba Dum Tsssssh!

But seriously, timed questions are one of the features we get asked for a lot – particularly by our customers who are hiring for high performance cultures or in pressured customer facing roles.

We know allowing fair-but-modest time allocations on certain questions can encourage more honest, revealing answers.  The other benefit is that how a candidate performs on a timed question can help you understand how decisive they are, or how well they might operate in a pressured situation. If your organisational culture puts a lot of stock in high performance, competitiveness or grit, getting as much insight into those things as early as possible in your candidate relationship is crucial. Composing a brilliant answer to a free text question when there’s a blinking timer counting down the seconds is bound to get the heart rate up.

 

How do Weirdly timed questions work, exactly?

You can opt to include a timer on any free text question in your Weirdly screening quiz. These might be questions you’ve developed yourself, or ones generated by our in-house psych team and quiz algorithm. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to customise how long you want the timer to run.

When your candidate gets to that question on your quiz, they’ll see a simple explanation so there are no surprises. Once they start typing their answer, the timer will start counting down. Once time runs out, that’s it. Whatever they’ve written is saved, and they’re automatically moved along to the next question.

 

Weirdly timed screening questions mobile friendly

Can I see how long a candidate takes to complete my whole quiz?

Yes you can – in two ways, in fact. We’ve always offered the ability to see an overall average completion time on the Quiz Analytics  – per quiz and per question. Along with this new timed question feature though, we’ve added some bonus individualised completion time info to each candidate’s report. Now you can see how long a specific candidate took to submit your quiz right there on their profile.

 

Timed Weirdly screening quiz candidate report annotated

 

Is this available on custom and ATS-integrated Weirdly quizzes?

Yep! Any new Weirdly quiz created for you can include a timed question – whether you’ve got a simple Bronze level customisation or you’re ringing all the bells and whistles with a Gold level theme. All of our first and second stage ATS integrations support this feature as well so you won’t notice any disruption to exisiting process. There’ll just be a useful new piece of data on your candidate reports when you open them.

 

Could timed screening questions help you assess candidates for resilience (or performance under pressure? or writing proficiency? or attention to detail? and the list goes on…). We’d love to give you a bit more info about how this could work in your own process. Click below to choose a demo time with one of our team.

 

5 lessons you can learn from the world’s best marketers about building employer brand

Recruiters and HR folk are playing more and more in that floaty, conceptual brand world where marketers usually hang out.

It makes sense. Employer brand’s role in attraction and sourcing the best candidates isn’t going anywhere. And especially for the big retailers, there’s a growing awareness that the line between employer brand/candidate relationship and corporate brand/customer relationship is becoming increasingly blurry.

 

Is that a candidate or a customer? I can’t even tell anymore

 

A strong employer brand will make lasting impact, adding weight to everything you do, helping you cut through the clutter. In essence, your employer brand lets you build real, lasting relationships with people. A weak employer brand is a barrier standing in the way of those relationships. At best it’s a difficult hurdle. At worst it’s actively damaging your ability to do your job.

That’s why getting fluent in the language and practice of building brand is a good move for people-people. The good news is there’s a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped down the hall in your marketing department.

Your marketers are expert in finding small, simple ways to bring your values to life in everything from your websites to your advertising. They instinctively know how to segment audiences, connect with them on an intimate level and then keep them on the hook en masse. They’re also really practised at spotting how you can make the biggest impact with the most people for the least money. And let’s face it, big impact for small money is music to…well, everyone’s ears.

Tapping into that knowledge doesn’t just make your job easier. Those companies where marketing and HR work closely together (like the awesome team at Progressive Insurance) gain a significant head start over those whose departments keep their distance. As you and your marketers get cosier, here are 5 insights you can take from some of the world’s best brand builders that you can start applying to your employer brand today:

 

1. Creativity isn’t just fun – it’s also effective

How that applies to your employer brand: Using creativity in your employer brand campaigns will make budgets go further and help attract exactly the people you want.

 

“Two decades of international research measurably demonstrates that creative campaigns are more effective campaigns, and that more creative businesses are more successful. Creativity works by making campaigns more likely to stand out, more likely to be recalled, more likely to be talked about and more likely to persuade people.”  James Hurman, The Case for Creativity.

 

Since the days of Mad Men, marketing has intuitively understood the value of creativity. Brand strategist James Hurman put that gut instinct to the test. In his book The Case for Creativity he demonstrated through 15 major research studies that the more creative a brand is, the more effective they are convincing the right people to buy.

Your employer brand is selling a product too – the roles at your organisation, with top talent as your target. That means that pushing for recruitment campaigns that go beyond the traditional is worth it – you’ll make more noise, be more attractive to the people you want, and have more lasting impact than you would with a ‘safer’, more traditional approach.

As an example, L’Oréal’s creative “are you IN?” campaign didn’t just break the mould, it also returned in a big way. They grew their LinkedIn fan base to 300,000, with 70% of those interested in a job opportunity with them. Now that’s what I’d call a successful Expressions of Interest drive.

  

2. Build your brand by connecting with people emotionally

How that applies to your employer brand: In a nutshell? Pay attention to the candidate experience.

 

“I create messaging that forms an emotional connection with people. My boss has referred to my job title as Chief Emotion Officer.” Kelly Bennett, CMO of Netflix

 

When building your employer brand, attracting someone into a specific role right away isn’t always the immediate goal – what you do always want to do is get people hooked on your culture. That’s about connecting with people, giving them insight into who you are and leaving them wanting more. That paves the way for the future, and adds power to the next message – when you’re advertising a role that might fit them well.

Building emotional connection means all your candidates – even the unsuccessful ones – should leave with a great feeling about your company. The candidate experience, therefore should reflect who you are as company. Don’t be afraid to move away from dry corporate imagery or language. Every touchpoint, from the job ad to the application experience to the emails you send during the process is an opportunity to share a bit of your brand and connect with your candidates on an emotional level.

 

3. Stand for something.

How that applies to your employer brand: Attracting the right people is more important than attracting the most people. As recruiters, we often do this refining at the screening stage. Great marketers know the smart money is in doing this at the attraction stage, and they advise doing it by taking a clear position with employer brand.

 

“Brand must be part of culture to be successful, so the challenge is to find the purpose and connection. It’s critical to have a sharp point of view and stick to it. If that means there are some people who are not part of your customer base that’s ok, as long as you believe what you’re doing is right.” Seth Farbman, CMO, Spotify

 

Marketers know that accessing more customers isn’t always the goal – sometimes (often!) it’s about singling out the very best customers – the best ones who will engage deeply and become passionate advocates. The earlier in the process you do this, the more efficient your process becomes.

The same applies to your employer brand. Even at a most basic level, drowning in huge volumes is nearly always a negative. What is ideal is if the right candidates apply – those are the candidates who, yes, have the right experience and skills, but more importantly, are the ones who share your values and mission. They’ll be driven by the same things and passionate about what you’re doing.

A bit of CX/values inspo from our pals at Atlassian

These people will be more engaged in the process, add to your culture, stay longer once you hire them and help drive the productivity of your teams. And if you need some data to support that claim? Here’s a crowd-sourced list of research and articles we’ve been building over the past few years.

 

Emily Culp, former CMO of Keds supports this idea, “Everything we do is designed to build culture and establish what our brand stands for.  A solid grounding in understanding the day to day purpose of our brand frankly helps me motivate my team. That work helps all of us do our jobs better and helps us stay passionate about our consumer.”

 

Just as in marketing, attracting the right talent means taking a brave (read: honest) stand in the market, shouting from the roof about who you are as a company and being clear about who you aren’t. Are you a youthful, edgy brand? Go ahead and use slang in your communications – you’ll certainly put off some candidates (ie. the wrong ones) but you’ll connect with the right ones. Do you have a clear purpose, attitude or mission? Build that into everything you do. This bleeds over into your internal relationships resulting in better retention of talent.

 

4. Listen to your audience and give them what they need

How that applies to your employer brand: Listen to your talent market and get flexible with your approach and offering.

 

“To be truly customer-centric [the head of strategy and insight] and I have to be working hand in glove. I see her as a key partner in bringing the truth of the customer to our team, and using that to build the marketing plan,” Morgan Flatley, CMO Macdonald’s USA

 

A marketer’s role goes beyond spitting out marketing messages, in exactly the same way as a recruiter’s roles goes far beyond sorting resumes into piles. They often are instrumental in changing the products or services to better align with the changing needs of their audiences – essentially asking, what can we do to make it easier for our audience to buy from us.

The same goes for you as you build your employer brand – what can your People team do to make it easier for the talent out there to choose you. Put an ear to the ground to discover who your potential talent pool really are – what drives them and what they’re looking for, then adjust the way you’re communicating and what you’re offering accordingly. That’s almost certainly not just about salary raises – it could be around things like flexible work opportunities, charitable initiatives or a unique way of working.

 

5. Evolve, but stay true to your core

How that applies to your employer brand: Keep up with changing times, but don’t lose sight of who your company is at its centre.

 

“We make sure that everything that we do is very true to the values of our brand and bring that brand to life in a way that we protect as much as possible,” Julia Goldin – Chief Marketing Officer, Lego

 

Lego has always been focussed on diversification. For decades that strategy worked well for them, until it went too far. In 1998, the company posted its first-ever deficit – it cut jobs, and faced more falling sales in the early 2000s. Their new CEO in 2004 was tasked with refocusing Lego back to where their heart is – building and creation, messages that had become muddied amongst their wildly growing product portfolio. Their huge come-back success can be attributed to this commitment to their core values, even while continuing to evolve with the needs of their audience.

For your employer brand, the need to evolve is, of course, paramount. As new trends emerge and the needs of candidates change, it’s tempting to throw everything out and jump on every shiny bandwagon that goes trundling past. While that can work at first, it will have a shelf life – eventually these new policies or approaches will begin to clash with the core principles, values or missions of the company.

For example, is really clear, honest communication a fundamental part of your culture? Chucking a buggy chat-bot or confusing gamification experiencing into your recruiting process might seem like a cool, down-with-the-millenials idea when you’re cruising HRTech conferences. But if it’s making your communication less clear and less honest with your candidates, it’s muddying your employer brand. It’s a brand-crime.

Just like Lego is working hard again to ensure all their activities support their core mission, every change in your HRTech stack or process should start with one question – does this support and reinforce our values?

 

Bring your marketers into your world

Wherever you sit in the HR or Recruiting team, core marketing skills are becoming more and more integral to your job. Understanding how to build and harness brand to build meaningful relationships with talent will give you a significant edge. In the same way TA and HR teams are working together to define and build employer brand, how about you rope in the marketing crew down the hall to give you some tricks for communicating it?

 

Weirdly turns your employer brand into a super-slick candidate experience. Integrated in your existing application process, we make sure the first touch people have with your employer brand is a positive one – whether or not they end up getting the job.

Candidates are customers too. About time we treated them that way, no?

In the world of retail, mountains of investment are poured into polishing customer experiences every year. The idea is that if everyone you touch leaves with a positive feeling about your brand, that positive feeling will result in more money spent at the checkout counter. It’s not only logical, it’s been proven to work. A recent McKinsey study claims a 10% improvement in customer experience results in a 10% increase in revenue.

And here’s the clincher: in the retail sector, the vast majority of your recruitment candidates are ALSO CUSTOMERS.

Just think about that for a second.

That means every interaction you’re having with your candidate pool, are also interactions with your customer base. This all boils down to one indisputable fact for recruiters and recruitment marketers:

A great customer experience starts with a great candidate experience. Or put in a more sobering frame, a poor candidate experience is a poor customer experience.

We’ve all heard about the famous Virgin Media calculation: From 123,000 rejected candidates each year, 6% were cancelling their monthly Virgin Media subscription. That equates to about 7,500 cancellations – about £4.4 million per year. By reframing candidate experience as an opportunity for customer retention (and as it turns out, acquisition), Virgin actually turned those losses into a £9.7Million sales improvement.

I mean, that’s a good day at the office, right?

This is what turning -4.4M into +9.7M feels like.

We spend a lot of time talking about efficiency in business – breaking down silos, improving cross-department collaboration, making sure all parts of the business are working together to create consistently great offerings, beautiful customer experiences and happy shareholders. This shared outcome – candidate/customer experience – is a great example of that efficiency in action.

Recruitment and talent managers are in an awesomely privileged (and powerful) position in this equation. The people you’re talking to every day – whether it’s through job ads and social media posts or screening activities and interviews – are not just the ones who will design and deliver all the parts of your company’s services, they’re also the ones who buy those same products and services.

Finding little ways to make engagement with these people smoother and more enjoyable can actually enhance your recruiting process while also making sure the impact you’re having on them as customers is a positive one.

 

Three ways to polish your candidate/customer crossover

Here are a few practical start points to consider:

  1. Do your top-of-funnel touchpoints complement the in-store experience? 

    If you had to boil down the feeling customers get when they walk into your stores to one or two key messages, what would they be? For example, at Bunnings, it might be “People go out of their way to be helpful here”. Now think about where candidates have their first interaction with you – your careers site, your social presences or maybe your job ads and initial application form. Are these touch points reinforcing that same message? Bunnings does this really nicely on their career site by including a very clear, step-by-step breakdown of the application process (as well as a super-friendly and simple pre-application quiz).

  2. Do you actually know, for sure, what candidates think of your CX?

    Data is fun. But let’s face it, putting numbers around candidate experience can be pretty tricky. In order to justify spending on your CX, you really have to find a way to measure it.  We developed our own WeirdlyNXS feature to do just that. If you’ve got a custom Weirdly pre-screening quiz included in your process, you can automatically collect real, qualifiable data measuring your candidate experience. Alternatively, you can look into adding an existing marketing-style NPS solution to your process.

  3. How do you say no? 

    48% of candidates list “waiting to hear back from a potential employer” as their number one pain point. If you’re fielding large volumes of applicants, that’s a helluva lot of people associating  anxious or nervous feelings with your brand. We all know rejection can be hard, but uncertainty is much worse. There are some good ideas in this blog, but ultimately, think about how you’d like to be treated as a start point. Don’t leave applications hanging – no ghosting! Be clear, be prompt, be honest and tactful. And don’t forget the top of the funnel – high volumes mean personalised messages might not be possible, but this is where you can take advantage of automation. We’ve had customers include an automatic “based on your answers, you might not enjoy working here” message if they score below their pre-screening quiz threshold. That’s enough to keep applicants feeling informed and like their time is being respected.

 

Of course, there’s another bonus to looking at your candidates this way. It means you’ve got ammo for the next budget conversation you have with your CFO. How much resource is marketing allocated for brand sentiment work? What about your customer service department? There’s a huge opportunity here for resource sharing, cross-department collaboration, budget re-allocation. However you look at it, the days of recruitment experiences playing second-fiddle to every other touch-point are over.

Because really, ultimately, building a beautiful candidate experience is all about your customers.

 

If your CX could use an extra polish, Weirdly’s custom pre-application quizzes might be just what you need to build your employer brand and give every candidate a “wow” experience.

Weirdly language translation: A properly global candidate experience

Bonjour! Kia Ora! 你好! Olá!

Whatever language your candidates use to say hi, Weirdly’s right there with our new translation feature.

Gone are the days where a global recruitment means watering down your candidate experience to a boring, easily-translatable ATS application form. With this new feature you can showcase your employer brand, give candidates a peek at your organisational culture and inject a bit of fun right at the front of your application process, in any language you like.

This guy is as chuffed as we are about recruiting in Mandarin

How does Weirdly work in different languages?

First, for any newbies here, Weirdly produces simple, fully-customised quizzes that integrate into your current recruitment process. These not only transform your application process into a world-class candidate experience, they also screen every single applicant for alignment with your core organisational values. That means faster screening (as we pre-qualify based on alignment), higher candidate engagement and ultimately, better quality hires that don’t churn.

Until now, we could only offer this improved candidate experience in english speaking recruitment campaigns – not ideal for any of our larger, global customers. So we built them a feature you all get to benefit from.

Being able to serve the same screening quiz in different languages has the obvious advantage of giving applicants all around the world, a consistent and inclusive employee brand experience. Particularly awesome for our customers who’re recruiting customer-facing, retail or hospo roles.

 

With an ATS Integration:

If you’re using Weirdly integrated into your ATS process, your quiz will automatically be attached to each job ad, in the language of that ad. So say you’re advertising a role on a major US job-board, with a Chinese version posted on WeChat. The WeChat ad will automatically be linked to your Chinese language Weirdly quiz, while the English version will be attached to the US job board ad. This linking is done automatically in your ATS without you having to click any extra buttons – keeping it super simple!

Hiring in brazil? Sem problemas!

Without an ATS integration:

Whether you’re running a campaign outside your usual ATS process, or hosting an expressions of interest/talent pooling job on your career site, a Weirdly quiz is a brilliant way to attract and engage with your applicants. People clicking into your custom quiz will be presented with language options to choose from. On selecting their preferred language, they’ll be able to click straight through and complete the questions in their preferred language. Such an easy way to create an inclusive, accessible candidate experience.

 

If you’re serious about diversity and inclusion, or recruiting across global markets, engaging with candidates in their preferred language is important. We’re chuffed to offer a way to do that, without compromising on candidate experience. Ka rawe!

 

Weirdly screening quizzes include a question bank tailored to your company and validated by the Weirdly CultureLab. It’s branded to look and feel like your company, and can be integrated seamlessly with your ATS. Sound cool? Find out how it could slot into your process