Editor’s Note – FOT’s Tim Sackett will be joining our friends and college student experts at MyEdu for a FOT/MyEdu “Recruit Me Like You Mean It” event at the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual conference in Orlando on June 6. If you are interested in attending, click here to reserve your spot and try and throw Sackett off his game any way you see fit… We’re trial-ballooning ideas for the event in a series of posts over the next two weeks.
“See this watch? It cost more than your car…”
-Alec Baldwin, playing the role of District Sales Manager and “motivating” under-performing reps in local sales office in Glengarry Glen Ross.
“You will see him on TV, any given Sunday
Win the Super Bowl and drive off in a Hyundai”
-Kayne West from “Golddigger”
Anytime you’re doing volume recruiting, you better know who you are. Examples of volume recruiting are everywhere – it could be campus recruiting or any type of recruiting up and down the food chain where you’re attempting to bring in multiple hires at the same time.
Knowing who you are is critical. Is your company a Lexus or Hyundai? Lexus customers don’t want anything to do with a Hyundai. Hyundai customers appreciate the downstream brand, and even if they’d like to own a Lexus, assume the underdog position, telling themselves that they’re making a smarter buy than the Lexus snobs. After all – you crazy Lexus people – a Lexus is really just a Toyota with some glitter glued on. Fools.
It’s the same with recruiting, especially volume/large class recruiting. Any time you’re going to go after multiple hires for the same position or a trainee class, you better know whether you’re a Lexus or a Hyundai.
Knowing where you stack up in the brand pecking order impacts the following things you’re going to use in the recruiting process:
1. The candidates you talk to. If your brand is decidedly economy-class rather than luxury, you need to target candidates who are going to see the value rather than the top end. You can’t afford the top end, and even if you can, they think you’re a Hyundai. Segment early and often, young Jedi. Even If you oversell and hire a Lexus candidate, they’re going to reach for the console video screen of your company, find out it’s not there, say “this sucks” and pledge to leave ASAP. That’s called bad turnover where I live.
2. Any collateral you have. Website, handouts, messaging from your ATS, and the 100 other things that go into this category are all impacted by the relative position of your brand. You may as well embrace your Hyundai-ness and not pretend you’re something you’re not. Make fun of the Lexus brands along the way; embrace your underdog status.
3. How your recruiters talk. Underdogs sell against the bigger brands by establishing the value proposition of the economy world. The value is pretty simple when your employment brand is Hyundai-like.
What’s the value of joining a Hyundai-like employer rather than being distracted by all the shininess of a Lexus. Hmmm, let me think. OK, I’ve got it, there are three things:
1. You’re going to have more opportunity to become great.
2. You’re going to have more opportunity to become great.
3. You’re going to have more opportunity to become great.
That’s it. Your value prop as a Hyundai-like employer is opportunity. You can go be a face in the freaking crowd with the Lexus brand, or you can be a start here and manage those Lexus flunkies in 5 years. Sure, you’re recruiting who you can afford and sign, but that doesn’t mean you don’t shake your moneymaker and sell what you got. Proceed in finding and engaging Hyundai candidates as follows:
1. Profile what a Hyundai candidate looks like. Go find 100s of them. Stat.
2. Start any engagement with them by telling them who you are – the Hyundai of your industry. Brutal honestly here.
3. Tell them you think they could sign with Lexus level companies, even if you don’t believe that. (Jedi mind trick – tell yourself the Lexus companies would be better off with scrappier candidates, and then believe it so this is not a lie)
4. Then tell them through conversation, collateral and drip marketing that they’ll have more opportunity to become great by signing with you.
5. Do the rest of your recruiting process, but make sure EVERY touch point includes #4.
6. Get them to sign on the line that is dotted. Soon. Tell them you’ve got other scrappers who are dying to sign up, but you want them to have the opportunity first.
My car has 143,000 miles on it, and I can afford a new one. It’s not a Lexus. I like Hyundai candidates. You should too.
Find your niche, and then go recruit that segment like you mean it. Do it well, and FOT will call you “the people’s champion.”
Click here to reserve your spot for “Recruit Me Like You Mean It” event at the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual conference in Orlando on June 6 and try and throw Sackett off his game any way you see fit, or register to just to get a free hug.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.