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KBLA Blog

Selling Your Company To The Talent Pool!

We need Superman to this fill this position, so go out and find him!

by Steve McKinney, KBLA

Aug. 2, 2016

Search high and low and cover the globe. Find that man! Many executive search professionals, headhunters or recruiters have received this mandate at some time or another in their career.

The traditional practice has been to create a job description, make a requisition and then expect Superman to fly to the rescue. This request and receive model has worked well in the purchase of “things” and worked fairly well in the recruitment of “Supermen” and “Wonder Women” (leaders) to fill company vacancies. But that was then and this is now.

In the new guerilla war for talent the request and receive model is being replaced with a new a multidirectional approach. A new set of tactics is required to address the changing landscape and win this battle for talent. What is needed now is the advent of a Company Resume.

A Company Resume, what’s that? You heard it first here.

The number one marketing tool for a jobseeker is the resume or curriculum vitae. What about the other side of the equation, the company? What is the number one marketing tool for the company? Does the company have a resume? That’s a silly notion. Or is it?

In the past the typical company has relied on the power of reputation, company web sites, public records, press reports and word of mouth etc. Yet, the average job seeker has very limited knowledge about what it is actually like to work inside the given company.

Consider that during the Cold War the strength and ability of an individual country was a closely guarded secret. This secrecy and uncertainty created much anxiety, stress, and mistrust.

Later in history, the Wall came down. Borders were opened for more transparency and commerce. It became more expedient for countries in search of peace and prosperity to openly display their strengths and capabilities than to hide them.

In comparison, most of our companies still operate in a Cold War-type atmosphere. Knowing what it is like to work in the company seems to be a closely guard secret and a mystery. This lack of transparency and openness makes it more risky for new potential employees to consider working for the company.

It is only after the new employee has made the commitment and is working in the company does he fully realize what he has gotten himself into. The risk of taking the job is higher because of this unknown factor. But does it have to be this way? No.

One of the issues causing this problem is the limited amount of resources given towards human resources. According to a study by Dr. John Sullivan, Google has the largest recruitment budget. Google has a ratio of 1 recruiter for every 14 employees (14:1). This surpasses the previous record of 65:1, held by Cisco during the first war for talent in the late 90’s. Note the typical ratio of employees to HR professionals is 100:1.

However, the main issue is that the point of most marketing is to sell the company to investors, or customers. Public relation organs and marketing machines are designed for this purpose. Race the pulse and capture the heart. Win the mind and souls of investors and customers at all costs.

Companies willingly spend 10% or more of their operations budget for this conversion of investors and customers. Marketers pitch to their CEO’s, like television evangelists, dig a little deeper and then a little more. Give till it hurts. It will pay off in the end. Our marketers convince their CEO’s that our efforts are absolutely necessary to convert these customers and investors and beat our competitors in the war for their business.

However, when it comes to the guerilla war for talent there is limited to no marketing effort. There is this feeling of built it and then they will come. But you have to ask yourself, why is a potential employee or associate interested in my company? Does the Company Resume sell the company well? Or, do you even have a Company Resume to sell your company to potential talent?

You can’t rely on what is already in the market. The company’s product benefits, features and/or services are constantly being communicated in the market place. Annual reports describe the business offering and financial health of the company. However, the annual report gives little to no indication about the corporate culture or a description of the idea employee that would be attracted to the company. The info in the market is not the right information.

When is the best time to display the Company Resume? If you wait until the interview process it is too late. Some of the best candidates have already declined to interview. When listing the job is probably one of the good times. When hiring an executive search professional or recruiter is perhaps another good time.

Are we hiring the right executive search firm to sell our Company Resume? Do they believe in the company? Do they understand the company well enough to sell it to the right candidates? Are they sincerely interested in our company and its growth or is this just another assignment?

The challenge is that if you save the Company Selling to the most promising candidates you won’t ever see the best ones. So, should companies be selling themselves to talent all the time? Just putting the word out and letting the world know “We are an excellent place to be?” Yes.

So, how do we do this? In essence, we made the Company Resume, which is our primary marketing tool, similar to how a resume is the primary marketing tool for a job seeker.

Now we must devise a marketing plan complete with a budget, marketing brief, strategy and timing with the specific hiring targets and goals of attracting the best employees. We know ‘when’ to sell it now – always.

In summary, to win in the guerilla war for talent we must change our tactics to a multidirectional approach. One new tactic should be the creation of a Company Resume, your new marketing tool for attracting the right talent.

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