With the increasing fragmentation of communication channels used to express, ‘What it’s like to work for this organisation,’ and ‘What’s in it for you,’ it pays to ensure the employment experience you promote to potential employees through a job board is matched by what you can realistically deliver upon in the employment experience – and in many cases this experience starts at a job board.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from job seekers is that job boards are too static, boring, impersonal and it’s like finding a needle (job!) in a haystack. The successful job boards will be those which clearly understand their client and customers needs and strategically evolve their service offering to connect them. Where many job boards have become irrelevant is in attempting to innovate and grow revenues and margin they have simply bolted on additional offerings. Along the way they have lost touch with their core business offering – matching candidates to jobs.
A central focus of your job board strategy should be the accurate reflection of your company’s employer value proposition (EVP). In its simplest form, the EVP is a set of associations and offerings provided by the organisation in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation. It sits at the heart of your employer brand strategy. Unfortunately not enough organisations have taken a strategic view with their EVP and it shows. Just visit a job board and take a look at the company profiles section. The moment of truth for companies is to ask, “Does this authentically reflect what it’s like to work for our company?
The key is to ensure your EVP messaging is consistent across online touch points such as the job boards you use. It should adapt to the particular role but should always reflect your brand essence. If I’m viewing openings at Microsoft or Deloitte my perception of what it is like to work at these companies should be endorsed or enhanced through my interaction at the job boards, not diminished.
A job board is not the only part of a company’s communication mix, so the company’s presence here needs to be considered as part of their overall employer brand strategy.
In the online space size does matter but the trend is towards integration, customisation and openness and this is where companies who understand the benefits of employer branding will leverage their job board investment. Companies like Starbucks have a global community of over 6 million on Facebook that can support their job board strategy! When their target candidates visit their job board postings it is likely they have already linked positive brand associations in forming a positive brand image of working for Starbucks. You can hear them say, “If I’m looking for a job in a coffee house, Starbucks is the one I want to work for!” The same can be said for Zappos, Goggle, FedEx and Electronic Arts (EA).
The challenge ahead lies in the ability for HR and recruiting managers to drive the strategic agenda to ensure collaboration with the marketing and communication functions to arrive at a coordinated brand strategy that builds competitive advantage over time and which is felt in places at a granular level such as when job seekers visits a job board.
Brett Minchington MBA, Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International is an International employer brand strategist, author and educator. Brett has delivered employer branding key note addresses, executive briefings, masterclass events and chaired Summits in more than 30 cities in 20 countries. He has consulted to Global and National brands and has been published globally in HR, Marketing and Management magazines including ‘The Economist’ and ‘Business Week’. His most recent book is ‘Employer Brand Leadership.’
(PS: The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Job Board Report 2010. Register to get your free copy here)