Spotlight for Recruiting ProfessionalsMarch 19, 2014
Tim Sanders defines “brand” as the promise of an experience.
“Organizations offer the promise of an experience every single day through the ways they communicate and the messages they distribute,” says Sanders, bestselling business author and people and leadership expert.
What experience does a college student look for when considering organizations for employment? Sanders says the employer’s message needs to speak to the students’ goals. When it comes to the current generation of college students, these goals are more about purpose than pay, Sanders says, citing recent research.
For example, messaging that says, “You will be challenged here and have fun working your way to the top” is much more effective than telling students about the organization’s financial objectives, he says.
“With this in mind, test all of your branding on college students, not on your colleagues,” Sanders advises.
Other common mistakes employers make when marketing themselves as employers of choice is trying the “one-size-fits-all” approach to communications and ignoring students who reach out to them on social media.
“Monolithic branding doesn’t effectively achieve the objective,” Sanders says. “When marketing to college students, segment your messages. Also, be open to making connections with students through a variety of avenues.”
He points out that many employers have a set path—such as through an applicant tracking system—from which they want their candidates to come.
“But, they are missing out on students who contact them through social media, where estimates indicate that one-quarter of all questions asked through these sites go unanswered,” Sanders says.
He adds that not responding is not conducive to effective recruiting. Instead, develop branding that speaks to college students’ goals and be available as an organization to respond to inquiries from various channels to help fulfill your brand promise throughout the recruiting process.
Tim Sanders will be a keynote speaker during the NACE 2014 Conference.
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