The second time at the HRU Helsinki event and again, I am pleasantly surprised. The event had grown to be a 2-day happening with a major topic for each day: 4th of May: Data-Driven HR and 5th of May: Proactive hiring. The first day, I was following the event through a live stream, and the second day, I attended the event by being present.
So many great track leaders and presentations, but here are a few highlights for me:
How to attract candidates who are right for the role
Steve Ward started the second day by sharing his knowledge about how the digital age has changed recruitment with inbound methods. I am keen on the subject as I also think that talent pipelines are the future. Now, recruitment happens too often with too much rush (“we need to recruit someone fast”). To avoid problems with getting a wrong type of employee because of lacking time, companies should build talent pipelines. Companies can try to find candidates who they have not yet been in touch with, but I see that companies need to especially consider the candidates who already have applied. With them, we need an active dialogue. This requires nurturing the candidates with interesting content in a way a marketing automation system does with leads and customers.
Steve stressed that in recruitment, it’s not about attracting just anyone, but the right people. Content should be targeted, and you should not be afraid to leave some group out. There are always people who are not interested, but the ones who are, are potential for you. What I also really liked about Steve’s track was his message that anyone can produce content. Many are afraid of writing because they feel like they cannot write. You don’t need to be a perfect writer if you just talk the ‘language’ of your target group and know what interests them. Give it a try!
Company-wide succession planning for talent pipelines
Mark Lundgren also shared his knowledge about one of the hottest themes of the day, talent pipelines. He has experience of proactive sourcing and could give us some great tips. One possibility to build talent pipelines is to interview people (e.g. top sales talents) already before there is any vacancy. When the recruitment’s need then comes, you already know the top people and what is needed to offer to them to be able to hire them.
Building talent pipelines is not always easy because there can be resistance from the managers. They may have a hard time to understand why interviews need to be done before there is an open position and consider that talent pipelines are a waste of time. This is tricky to any recruiter, so some internal selling is needed.
Proactive sourcing is an excellent strategy alongside with building a talent pipeline with your job candidates. Just remember to treat them well so that they are interested in the future as well! Our solution, Virtual Recruitment Assistant, also includes a talent pipeline. If you want to learn more about it, request a demo here.
Ask anything you ever wanted about employer branding
Tom Laine provided us a great opportunity to ask anything about employer branding. One question that stuck in my mind concerned startups and employer brand. Tom explained first that for a startup, recruitment is a cultural issue. I totally agree with him. They are not necessarily individual job descriptions, but they are more about the team fit. Working for a startup requires flexibility and self-direction. I have written a blog about this, you can find it here. Therefore, in the recruitment, startups should look for the right person (and the growth potential) and not look for just the individual skills.
Startups should not start to build an employer brand specifically, it should come naturally. I see that the employer branding starts with treating job candidates as well as the employees. Startups cannot often compete with similar benefits as corporations, but they can provide something else. They can offer, for example, flexibility or shares of the company. It is a huge problem for startup if it hires a wrong person, so even though massive plans for employer branding are not needed, putting an effort to hiring the right people counts.
Other interesting questions concerned how you can make employees write content. Tom advised engaging those employees first, who are already active in social media or are active writers. Others will get interested in following their example. If there is no one else active in the company besides you, you need to be the example. I have also found it useful to offer hands-on help and start with small steps. Help the employees to create powerful social media profiles, and create small tasks (e.g. one tweet per week) and teach them how to complete the task gradually.
“Do you know that content is 561% more shared by individuals than by company accounts?”
Overall, employer branding is not measured enough. Great tip! It is beneficial to measure what the individual people do and not just the organisational metrics. It can be, for example, an NPS about how many people would like to become advocates. This may not always be the best option, so tracking individual activities (and what kind of engagement they get) is also a good possibility. Do you know that content is 561% more shared by individuals than by company accounts?
By the way; Tom Laine writes interesting blogs, so take a look at them to learn more about Employer Branding and Social Media!
The human touch back to recruitment
We had an opportunity to present our company in the event. Our CEO, Saku Valkama, took the floor on Friday and shared our mission – to bring the human touch back to recruitment. We do it with our Virtual Recruitment Assistant, which enables companies to send automatic status updates and personalised feedback messages to all job candidates. Artificial Intelligence makes this possible, even with hundreds of candidates – and without using an extra time. Candidates benefit by knowing how the process goes forward and being able to improve their skills and documents based on the feedback. We treat every job application like a love letter. Let’s all appreciate the time candidates have used in applying for your company – they so deserve it!
An amazing event! Thank you, Aki Kakko, and all the other organizers. See you next year again!
P.S. If you are interested in these type of unconferences, don’t wait for the next year, but attend a similar event in some other countries. HRU is all around the world.