With the US elections fast approaching, let’s take a look at the parallels between the campaign season and the sourcing of top talent. Both election nominees and corporate recruiters actively engage in a series of tactics to prove that theirs is the winning side, whether it be political party or company. Their strategies serve to paint a positive picture of the results they pledge to carry out, including:
1) Benefits: First things first – what do you bring to the table that your competition doesn’t? Voters evaluate which nominee’s stance on key issues is in line with what they value, whether regarding the economy, taxes, quality of schools, protection of rights, foreign policy, etc. Likewise, potential applicants consider what benefits they would receive if they worked at your company – such as pay, healthcare, work/life balance, corporate culture and how the position will further their careers. Both voters and applicants must weigh the pros and cons of each option and determine which would be a better choice.
2) Branding: An integral part of any campaign, branding spells out the values and virtues of the entity, be it a political party or company. The traditional method to get the word out included posters, billboard, print and TV ads. These were one-way conversations, however, with little space for feedback or questions from the receiving end. With the advent of the Internet and social media, much of the focus has now shifted to online interactions, such as social media, blogging, and website activity. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are used by nominees and their parties to make their voices heard across the country – corporate recruiters and their companies do the same thing. Their constant presence gives their audiences more ways to reach out, voice their opinions and receive real-time responses. The opportunity for closer, faster and more balanced interactions sends a more precise message to voters/applicants.
3) Face-to-Face Meetings: Of course, much of campaigning also means actually getting out to the field and pitching to the people. Town hall meetings afford nominees the chance to meet face-to-face with voters, adding a relatable face and a handshake to the rhetoric heard on the news and on social media. Similarly, corporate recruiters favor job fairs as an opportunity to connect one-on-one with potential candidates. Making personal connections engenders better identification with the nominees/corporate recruiters.
4) Videos: Video testimonials featuring nominees’ supporters – or companies’ employees – are an excellent way to generate more trust. Both political supporters and employees volunteer their time to appear in these videos because they truly believe in the causes. Portraying “everyday people” visually articulating the reasons for their choices catches the attention and interest of the audience, and sends the message that if their peers are willing to go on record that this decision is a good idea, it must be worth it to take a second look. And with the growing popularity of online videos, it’s never been easier to distribute these videos to the greater online community.
Whether or not you will be voting on November 6, the methods of political campaigns can be examined by all corporate recruiters. Whether it means updating or fine-tuning your benefits, playing a more active role in online employer branding, making appearances at additional job fairs or interviewing employees about why they love working at your company, you can learn much about sourcing candidates from the strategies and lessons of the campaign trail.