Top 3 Takeaways: LinkedIn Talent Connect 2016

Keep it simple stupid. A phrase I often forget, but that was in the back of my mind during my time at LinkedIn’s 2016 Talent Connect Conference in Las Vegas. No, the presentations were not remotely simple or stupid, but as I continue to grow in the talent brand space, I realize that more often than note, the more simplistic the idea is, the more scale it has and the more effective it can be on your budget.

Marketers like me always want to boil the ocean, so this conference really helped me level set on what is possible to create with current resources, and it allowed me to focus on the tactics that will meet my goals, instead of using every possible tactic and new marketing product available. Yes, I want to do it all, but it’s more efficient on your people resources and budget to focus on the right activities to best accomplish your business goals.

My objective of each session I attended was to write down 2-4 actionable items I could take back with me to work and start implementing immediately. I had many more than the 3 below items written down, but here is what I found to be the recurring themes of my conference notes. I gained the most new knowledge from the speakers representing Uber, Starbucks and Eventbrite. They were able to provide new insights into the talent attraction process and EVP (Employer Value Proposition) development, two key focus areas for me this year.

#1: Take the best parts of the consumer marketing experience and apply it to your TA experience.
We are all used to being marketed to. Ads, coupons and social media promotions have become part of our daily consumer experiences. Brands like Target have even taken it to another level utilizing an app called “Cartwheel” to enhance their consumer experience, and gather more data around it.

A positive consumer experience includes being able to easily find what you are looking for, then easily completing the transaction and moving on with your day. Today’s talent lives and transacts online similar to today’s consumer. Job hunters should be able to quickly locate roles of interest, pertinent information about your firm and lines of business. Then, they should quickly be able to complete their “transaction,” or application.

Employment branding marketers utilize the same consumer branding levers – brand, influence and conversion to drive their candidate outcomes. Attribute your outcome to the right marketing tactic, and drive more resources to the right activity at the right time.

Brand: Social and general media buys will build brand equity in the long-term.
Influence: Owned channels like your careers site will influence the reason to apply, or “buy.”
Conversion: Paid tactics will increase applications. Measure your results from using job boards, paid search and paid social media campaigns.

#2: Based on your marketing efforts, would you be excited to work at your own company?
EVP, or Employer Brand Proposition, has been a buzz word in this space for a few years, but have you acted on it? Have you defined the unique set of offerings that would make someone want to join your company? Once you define your EVP, you can begin to attract and inform your desired talent pools by using videos, social retargeting campaigns, your website, job descriptions and blogs.

Not sure if you’re acting on your EVP? Face some brutal facts like these, then get back to work on your content plan:

Do you have a voice? Specifically, are you using the voice of your employees?
Are you being social on social media? Or just talking at people instead of with them?
Are you more worried about quantity of content over quality of content?
Have you put up more red tape than you really need to get things done?

Measure where you are today before further implementing. Know your current careers site activity, social followers and display ad results in order to evaluate future efforts.

#3: Build affinity, not attraction, by telling a story that other people come to on their own.
Great IT and sales people are not applying for jobs. They are already meeting or exceeding, and are likely satisfied in their current role. It’s time to stop hunting unicorns, and start reigning them in. By really utilizing storytelling in your marketing mix, you will start to build an arsenal of content that the great talent will use in their decision to explore making a life move to your company.

Make sure you are maximizing your content mileage. If you make a long-form story about a particular role or job family, leverage the images and quotes from the story in your future social media posts. Link to the stories from your job descriptions and encourage recruiters to use the stories in their candidate InMails.

Thanks LinkedIn for another great conference. I’ll see you in Nashville in 2017!

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