Spring is a fantastic time of year. It’s the season when we leave the darkness of winter behind, clear the way for new opportunities ahead, and build or strengthen relationships. For businesses, it’s a time to shake loose the dust, tune-up processes, experiment with new approaches, and emerge with a fresh image. That’s why these early days of spring provide us with an excellent reason to explore the importance of brand — and not just a client’s. By sourcing staffing partners who are perfecting their own staffing and recruitment brands, MSPs can uncover the most exceptional talent.
A Fresh Brand for a Fresh Season
We’ve written before about the importance of both consumer and employment brands in the digital age. Today’s consumers place more emphasis on peer reviews in social media than a critic’s opinion in a paper of record. Think about it. Jonathan Gold, one of the most lauded food critics, may gush over the opening of a chic new bistro, yet if the Yelp reviews seem terrible, would-be patrons will probably pass.
According to LinkedIn studies, employment brand is two-times more likely to drive a candidate’s job consideration than company brand. A well-defined and compelling brand speaks to reputation and effectively communicates an organization’s values, personality and culture. It infuses every point-of-contact a company will have with its talent, from the job posting to recruitment outreach, training and career development.
A successful employment brand is informed by a thriving business culture and an enriching candidate experience. As leading MSP Randstad Sourceright observes, clients with traditional internal recruitment processes continue to struggle with overcoming obstacles in the way of optimal employment branding:
- Over 40% of job seekers have used a mobile device to search for jobs, and 37% expect to apply directly from their smartphones.
- When asked how often they’d return to a job on their desktop after trying (and failing) to apply via mobile, 65% of job seekers said “rarely.”
- 50% of job seekers will tell a friend about a bad experience, and 64% will tell a friend about a good experience.
- 96% of job seekers are likely to read a company’s reviews before accepting a job offer.
- Most (3 in 5) job seekers who have begun an application did not finish it, because there were too many steps or it was too complex.
- A majority of job seekers (51%) expect to be informed by the hiring company about the status of their application, but only 14% say they actually receive updates.
Employment branding success, Randstad Sourceright clarifies, is not about messaging — it’s about experience. For MSPs, working with clients to hone or refresh the company’s employment brand is a natural step in marketing positions to top talent. Yet, those workers must first find their ways to a staffing provider.
In the current market, competition for the best talent is fierce. Elite staffing curators are well aware this. For years, they’ve been promoting the employment brands of their clients while developing the personal brands of their talent. Now, however, their own brands are becoming just as instrumental among multiple decision makers, which include MSP leaders, client hiring managers and the workers themselves.
Staffing Curators as Brand Ambassadors
Staffing curators know the needs of HR and hiring managers, they understand the technology and online marketplace platforms, they’ve become social media gurus, they know how to polish resumes and pitch candidates, and they’re highly proficient brand ambassadors for the companies they support. In large part, they’ve elevated their sourcing and recruiting efforts by translating their expertise into a sort of public relations/image consulting role for candidates.
They do the same for MSPs and clients by showcasing their compelling work cultures, opportunities, unique incentives, skills development and more. Yet with the attention placed on employment and candidate brands, we sometimes neglect the tremendous value to be found in staffing firms that cultivate exciting recruitment brands. As Samantha Mick writes in Careerealism, “You establish your values, your skills, and what separates you from other recruiters, while leaving a welcome mat outside your brand for candidates to come interact.”
With the right combination of social profiles, digital visibility, platforms, content, inbound marketing and exposure, savvy staffing curators can bolster their presence and reputation to attract the highest caliber talent for MSP programs desperately in need of skilled professionals.
Strong Staffing Brands Build Robust Talent Pipelines and Relationships
Job seekers today sit comfortably in the catbird seat when it comes to career selection. They’re more discerning and have different expectations of ideal work situations than past generations. Company culture, corporate responsibility, sustainability, innovation and learning opportunities trump salary for many young professionals. They’re not only bucking tradition, they’re disrupting it. Job board postings, tedious employment applications and drawn-out processes tend to push talented applicants away. They instead seek information, interaction, socialization and a greater degree of connectivity with recruiters.
In a Careerealism survey, 70 percent of candidates said their probability of applying for a position increased when they knew more about the staffing professionals courting them. “When asked why,” Mick notes, “some responded that they prefer to shape their applications and interactions with you based on what they learn about you, while others pointed out that it helps them feel more confident about applying and better able to understand your perspective.”
Staffing curators that concentrate on creating a solid brand image are the agencies attracting the best talent. They’re not struggling to find needles in haystacks — in-demand professionals are coming to them, building meaningful relationships and seriously considering the opportunities those recruiters present.
Staffing Brands Drive Inbound Traffic and Engagement
The best staffing curators are masters of communication and social networking. Their brands establish credibility, inspire confidence and entice talent to research their offerings further. In fact, they’ve already overcome many of the challenges facing corporate recruiters:
- Staffing companies rely more on social networks, online recruitment platforms and mobile communications than internal recruitment teams, who still lean heavily toward job boards.
- Staffing companies have focused on candidate engagement and interaction — they have the time and attention to focus on continuous communications with prospective talent.
- Staffing curators are using new tools to simplify applications processes and entice high-caliber performers.
- Staffing experts spend less time trying to court the saturated market of active job seekers; they’re concentrating on the untapped goldmine of skilled passive candidates.
By promoting an image that helps candidates identify and connect with them, elite staffing professionals are driving applicants to their job postings. And that translates to a more diverse and talented bench of candidates for MSPs.
Effective Supplier Brands Solidify Expertise
The staffing curators that stand out are those building brands to promote their unique capabilities and expertise. How are they cultivating their brands?
- Promoting culture, development opportunities, flexibility and rewards.
- Clearly defining what success in the organization looks like.
- Promoting interaction and social engagement with existing workers in the program.
- Showcasing accomplishments or associations that demonstrate a commitment to people, not just profit. A good example is membership in GameChangers500 — an honor roll of for-profit businesses that are benefiting their communities and their people.
Despite these achievements, MSPs and their staffing partners can do more. Through collaborative efforts, they can come together to bolster the employment brands of every player in the hiring process: the client, the MSP and the staffing curator. One of the best ways is to gain a solid grasp of the client’s needs and then work to contour experiences and cultures to those brand ideals. Here are a few questions MSPs and their staffing partners can answer to start the ball rolling.
- What are the most attractive and compelling attributes of the program to current and potential workers?
- What roles are most critical to program success?
- What cultural characteristics, opportunities or perks will attract the best talent to these areas for the program?
- What are the current perceptions of talent working in the client engagement? How are they influencing recruitment efforts? How can they be improved?
Spring Cleaning the Employment Brand
Brands that speak to industry expertise, satisfied customers, happy workers and relationship building are those that captivate talent. An engaging supplier brand conveys a keen sense of knowledge, understanding and a track record of matching workers to ideal business cultures. By seeking out staffing curators that are building visible and attention-grabbing reputations, MSPs can forge relationships with staffing partners who bring the innovations and exceptional talent their clients demand.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community