Fast Company

Random Recruiting Thoughts on Opt-Out Marketing, Viral Loops, a Modern-Day Consilience, and a Readiness for Growth

HR, Recruiting, Third Party Search, and Talent Acquisition Professionals:  If I may play 'Mr. Marketing Devil's Advocate' for a moment, let me interject one of the new rules of marketing that exist within today's intersection of a globalizing economy and the viral expansion of social media:

***Drop any opt-out marketing efforts like a bad habit.***

Opt out = spam. In the words of my friend, Seth Godin, "Opt-out takes advantage of laziness, inertia, and infoglut to inundate people with stuff they don't want." There are more innovative ways than I can count on one hand for you or your firm to capture the candidate pool's attention in a meaningful way. Perhaps it's twittering highly relevant news or 'blog picks of the day' . . . or creating a viral loop/network through a targeted Ning group . . . or any other information that allows you to develop not only respect, but the 2-way dialogue that has gone forgotten in our world (i.e. we're still sucked into the CRM promise that didn't work for the Mktg & Sales function several years ago, and still has yet to yield positive ROI/EVA!)

Since I entered the Talent Acquisition world, I've been saying all along that this industry is literally dying for marketing minds. Among every business unit, we (meaning as recruiters and talent acquisition professionals) have more 'customer data' than any other . . . yet we do little to leverage it. The marketing function would salivate to have as much data and trend information as we have - in fact, they pay a hefty penny for it under the guise of '3rd party market research.' The beautiful thing here is that you don't need 10 - 20 yrs marketing experience to be great . . . you just need the desire to embrace and get to know your customer/candidate segments better. Passion and curiosity are the keys.

In the form of a shameless plug, it's the reason that magazine editors have started contacting me regarding some of my blog posts . . . while the same information falls on what can be termed 'deaf ears' in our space. That is, by no means, an indictment of any sort on Recruiting and TA; all it means or shows is that we're not ready yet . . .

We're not ready to step up our game and get off the boards, or stop mass spamming, or stop thinking that quantity of names has anything to do with QOH outcomes, or stop treating all candidate segments the same. But the time will come . . . and when it does, we'll see a modern-day Rennaissance (or better, Consilience) in our Talent Acquisition world.

Consilience: The joining together of knowledge and information across disciplines to create a unified framework of understanding.

Joshua Letourneau
Mg Director, SSF (Strategic Sourcing Framework) Implementation
LG & Assoc Search / Talent Strategy
BLOG: www.lgexec.typepad.com

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