Developing targeted talent attraction strategies for high-value roles is critical for global companies. PwC’s 2016 CEO Survey found 72 percent of company leaders are concerned about the availability of key skills – a number that has ticked up in recent years.
Among large companies surveyed, 46 percent say they use one single target profile to apply to all potential candidates. And only 13 percent say they use personas (i.e. detailed profiles based on demographic and psychographic/behavioral research) to inform their talent strategy.
This gap has serious ramifications for companies in a digital world – where engaging an audience requires the ability to refine the message based on the person you’re trying to reach. Tailoring the way you engage engineers, for example, is very different from how you would attract MBAs. Research from Deloitte shows three-quarters of executives say digital HR is a top priority in HR for this year. For HR executives, developing targeted audiences and outreach is one expression of that transformation.
Companies use employer-branding communications most often to raise awareness about their brands. Awareness on its own, however, is not enough to draw in future employees. More sophisticated tactics – such as differentiating a company in key markets, or among critical talent groups – are used much less often, particularly among smaller companies (where just one-quarter use employer branding communications to differentiate themselves).
Perhaps the most surprising finding was the infrequent use of employer branding communications for employee retention. Just three in 10 large companies use it for retention –when retention is top of mind for talent professionals.