Future talent: striking the right note at every turn


By Kate Llewellyn-Cripps

It’s no secret that a candidate’s choice of employer often comes down to who they know best. So, every time you speak to them, it should build their understanding of who you are. From attraction to onboarding to employee engagement, relevant ongoing communication is more important than ever in today’s competitive market. Here are a few pointers for making sure you hit the mark at every stage.

Think about your choice of channel – and your choice of medium too. Communications go far beyond an email. Think about video and visual communications that you can use. You don’t need big budgets; content shot on a smartphone can be just as effective as cinematic productions or glossy corporate films. There’s also new technology out there to allow you to host live open online chats, webinars or group forums that can plug straight into your CRM system too. These are great ways to involve your brand ambassadors too, to really bring your key messages alive. Have different types of communication methods and it’ll ensure you’ll hit the mark for different learning styles and engagement preferences.

Spend time thinking about what your key messages are. Research tells us we need to tailor our communications to attract a diverse audience. The choice of words and phrases you use impacts different people in different ways. Consider which message is relevant depending on the stage they’re at during their job/career seeking process; have they already met you on campus or had some work experience with you (or another employer to that matter) before? You won’t always know the exact answers to these questions, but consider whether the aim of your message is to drive or convert applications, raise awareness of your employer brand or support their professional development.

Having a good CRM system or process will help you target your communications appropriately. We’ve all been there – you can spot a blanket piece of communication a mile off, so try and make it personal, relevant, useful, short and sweet. Don’t over-complicate your language and always provide a call to action or end on a thought-provoking statement which will leave them wanting more.

Think about mapping your communications plan against the academic calendar, key milestones in the student lifecycle, your campus/event schedule and the trends your application data is telling you; such as where you need to turn your communications up or down based on who’s applying to what and when.

Most importantly, have a strategy to your communications. It seems an obvious one but a strategy backed up with a practical communications plan will ensure you keep on track. It will make your communications easier to manage, measure impact, provide a better candidate experience and avoid any risk of spamming or disengaging great people through irrelevant messaging.