Corporate Eye

On the Other Hand!


In two recent posts I pointed out some (let’s say) problematic aspects of the recent CareerCast report on the results of their job-ranking research.  To quote myself:  “It takes thoughtful analysis to turn raw data into useful information.”

Happily, I’ve just found a report that does apply thoughtful analysis to data–and returns some fascinating information.  It’s Arbita’s first report on something they are calling “the Recruitment Genome Project.”

Arbita describes itself as a “recruitment marketing technology, media, training and workforce development and consulting firm,” which seems like quite a plate-full.  But whatever they do the rest of the time, they have produced an informative and reasonably readable document, based on the responses of almost 500 stakeholders in corporate recruitment marketing, self-selected from a pool of 24,000 invitees.  I wish the sample had been larger, but the fact that these respondents actively replied–and completed a 48-question survey–argues that they have a high level of interest in the subject matter.

So what do we learn?  Way too much to discuss in one post.  So first a summary statement, and then a look at the findings most closely related to Corporate Eye.  The summary (my version, not theirs):  There are significant and fundamental disconnections in corporate recruiting, separating goals from means and results.  Repeating themes include:  too few metrics, not enough knowledge/training, too little investment in improvement.

Now to the most relevant bit.  “Although 68.5 percent of respondents are satisfied with their employment brand, 46.1 percent of that same group are dissatisfied with their current career web site–a recruitment tool that experts agree is nearly entirely driven by a company’s employment brand.”

The explanation for this disconnect, according to the report, is that “for most companies, the employment brand is linked directly to the corporate brand, and recruiting strategists don’t see the difference. “

Observes Kevin Wheeler (founder of The Future of Talent Institute), “It’s almost become a template for employment branding, to just add a career page to the company site.”

And I would contend–speaking as someone who looks at a LOT of those pages–that it doesn’t really matter how slick they are.  All the bells, whistles, and videos you can pile on will not compensate for the lack of a clear, consistent, effective message.

Several other question categories from the survey reveal dissatisfaction with the corporate career site.  But it’s clear that most of the companies represented in the survey have no plans for improvements.  First of all, no one intends to increase spending on any aspect of recruiting this year.  And secondly, some of the other reported gaps may be even more pressing.  In every question related to search marketing and social media (from blogs to SEO) the majority say they don’t have an effective strategy.  The least-bad area is social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn), where only 51% regard their strategy as inadequate, and the worst is “finding candidates on blogs,” where a whopping 85% report being way off the mark.

Take a look at the report, and consider how your company would answer the Arbita questions.

(Thanks to John Morgan for the colorful Hand.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.