From the May issues of BPD and Merchant Magazines.
As the work force continues to evolve, companies are choosing to find alternative measures to reach top talent. Gone are the days of simply posting on job boards and letting employees find you. Instead companies are being proactive, opting to invest in brand positioning, while touting employee perks and company culture as rationale for why prospective employees should call their company “home.” If that sounds more like marketing than recruiting to you, that’s because this new practice borrows a number of tools from the marketing discipline. We spoke with Leigh Ann Purvis, Corporate Communications Manager, and Donna Bailey, Vice President of Human Resources, for some insights into how RoyOMartin has blended marketing and recruitment in order to appeal to the interests and demands of today’s work force.
NAWLA: What is your approach to recruiting top talent?
Bailey: Recruiting top talent is our goal throughout all of our recruiting efforts. It is not just about posting on a job board anymore; it is about creating an experience and recruiting socially. Today, candidates are not afraid to move halfway across the world to the right “place” for a career, referring to a company’s culture and environment, rather than geographic location. Jobs are no longer just about salary, but rather, include considerations regarding company reputation, advancement opportunity, and opportunity cost. These candidates question every career move, wondering, “How will the company look on my resume?”
We offer several touch points to engage potential RoyOMartin team members. Probably the most effective way is through our social-media presence. We have been active on Facebook for a number of years and have increased our activity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram as well. These forums allow us to interact with followers of all types, including jobseekers. For recruiting, specifically, we share job postings, promote career fairs, and answer candidates’ questions. Job postings are linked to our newly designed corporate website, which allows candidates the opportunity to submit a resume for most positions.
Our local educational partners and Louisiana and Texas job centers also provide us with applicants and ways to engage them through career fairs. Networking with other businesses—such as through trade and professional associations, chambers of commerce, and nonprofits—allows us to collaborate and stay current on workforce-development initiatives and trends.
NAWLA: What emphasis does RoyOMartin place on marketing for recruitment of talent?
Bailey: These days, human-resources departments need to function more like marketers. At RoyOMartin, ensuring that our company brand is clear and attractive is a main element in our recruitment and talent-acquisition activities. A solid brand attracts top candidates, while giving them an inside look at what it’s like to work for our company. Most candidates will not accept a job with an organization that has a bad reputation. Therefore, we utilize marketing strategies to concentrate on talent acquisition instead of simply recruiting. Talent acquisition is a cyclical approach geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates. One example of this in our company is a proprietary year-long high-school program, called WoodWorks, that teaches students to become work-ready. We have experienced great success with this program for the past 10 years. In fact, 33% of team members at our Oakdale, Louisiana, OSB facility are WoodWorks graduates. Marketing has been a big piece of this program.
Purvis: At RoyOMartin, we view recruiting as part of our corporate-level marketing communications and public relations strategy. Many years ago, our leaders put in writing their mission to be “employer of choice” in the areas in which we operate. That value is one we communicate publicly, and our employee-driven compensation practices and benefits package speak to that. It’s also important to note that we don’t wait for a position opening to undertake recruiting efforts. We consider every day a day to promote the organization and its people. We are blessed to have many long-term RoyOMartin team members who provide us with a number of quality candidate referrals. In fact, most of our recruitment advertising features these employees.
NAWLA: In terms of outreach, do you cast a wide net or continue to return to certain outlets?
Bailey: At RoyOMartin, we strive to be employer of choice in all that we do. We feel we have experienced success with this strategy due to our concentrated effort on branding. Because we have been successful with our branding, applicants are eager to work for us, and we receive unsolicited resumes on a regular basis. Therefore, we typically utilize our proven outlets for outreach and are spared the higher cost of widening the net.
NAWLA: Are there certain outlets that have delivered better returns than others?
Bailey: Digital ads and social media have been the big hitters over the past few years, which is not surprising. Digital ads have proven more successful for us than traditional media, plus using digital ads allows us to measure our success and share valuable data with our leaders. This real-time data allows us to adjust our hiring strategy mid-stream, if needed, to achieve the desired end result. Such metrics are virtually impossible with traditional media. Using social media for recruiting and talent acquisition has also proven to be an effective method for our company. When jobs are posted on our social-media pages, they reach people who are already following our company. What better candidate to attract than those who are already existing advocates of our brand?
Everything we do sends a message in the public eye. To truly attract the top talent, the message must be right. At RoyOMartin, we accomplish that by:
- Showing how our company is unique, focusing on our values, safety culture, unique career paths, and stewardship by being a face in the community, “made in the USA,” and by maintaining our Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification on our forest-management practices and wood products
- Creating experiences consistent with our brand, such as interactivity through video, images, social media, and educational materials
- Showing we appreciate diversity, multigenerational hiring, industry experience, and culture
- Keeping our message consistent in all communications, such as career portals, social media, job listings, and candidate screening and interviewing processes