“Recruitment, at its core, is marketing,” said Gordon Frutiger, director of strategic recruitment initiatives at AIG, when we spoke to him in 2012. “I think where companies really struggle is that they attempt to equate their business or consumer brand with their recruitment brand, but they, and even most talent acquisition professionals, have been slow to grasp that the two are distinctly different.”
Undoubtedly, when you’re involved in leading the recruitment initiatives of a 65,000-plus workforce like Frutiger is, you understand the importance of cultivating an identity for your organization as a place to work. Simply put, a recruitment or employment brand defines the culture of an organization, giving candidates an impression of what it would be like to work there.
If you’re familiar at all with HR trends of the past few years, you’ve likely heard the employment branding topic come up countless times in conversation, trade publications, and the HR blogosphere. But even after years in the spotlight, most people involved with the hiring process claim they don’t think their companies have an employment brand or aren’t sure they have a definable employment brand — that includes 74 percent of hiring managers and 48 percent of HR managers, according to a 2011 CareerBuilder survey. However, everyone has an employment brand whether they know it or not. Employers and workers contribute to its creation, as do the job seekers who receive the recruitment content and form perceptions of a company.
For Frutiger and AIG, a major part of the branding process occurs long before a prospective employee’s first talk with a recruiter or sit-down interview (more on that below, excerpted from our book The Talent Equation). For many candidates, it starts with the job application itself. This is why one of Frutiger’s major initiatives is to ensure any candidate can visit the AIG jobs page, read a description, apply for a position, and receive confirmation of that application all within a 10-minute window.
This runs counter to most job seekers’ experiences. Getting your name on an employer’s radar can often be a highly frustrating, time-consuming process. keep reading…