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Zapar to Recruiters: Get Real!

Stacy Zapar, who delivered the closing keynote at the 2016 Talent Acquisition Technology Conference, said employer branding campaigns must be authentic. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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If employers really want to stand out from the pack, they need to begin to tell their stories in open and authentic ways.

That was one of the messages shared by Stacy Zapar in her closing keynote titled "Using Technology to Supercharge Your Employer Brand" at last month's Talent Acquisition Tech Conference in Austin, Texas.

Put simply, great employer branding means peeling back the curtains and showing everyone on the outside what it's like on the inside, said Zapar, founder of Tenfold and a leading authority on employment branding.

"We're not using tinted windows or filters to hide our wrinkles," she said. "We're not pretending to be something that we're not. We really want to make sure that what’s on the inside is going to push out to the outside."

Zapar said it's all about being more real: "I think we [need to] embrace our imperfections." Cindy Crawford's mole, David Letterman's gap between his teeth and Iman’s long neck -- these are traits that make these celebrities stand out.

What's more, Zapar said, employers need to make sure job candidates have a clear picture about the company before they even start their jobs. The earlier in the process, the better it is for everyone, she said, adding that you don't want someone begin their job and say, " 'Oh, this isn't what I thought at all? I hate it here!' "

Zapar told attendees that a good employer-branding roadmap needs to identify the recurring challenges: "Where are we spending too much money? Where are we inefficient? Where are the end points? Who are we not hiring enough of or fast enough? Do we have diversity challenges? Do we have a retiring workforce? Do we need to target millennials? What are our challenges as an organization from a recruiting perspective?"

Recruiting professionals also need to figure out who are the key stakeholders, she said. "What happens if we involve people too late in the process after all the really important strategic stuffs been decided? We get no buy in!"

In addition, Zapar touched on the importance of the employee value proposition. Recruiters, she said, need to do a much better job making sure the EVP is clear to those they're trying to attract. "If people come to work for you, what do they get out of the deal?"

In other words: What's in it for them?

Zapar said it doesn't need to cost a lot to that message out there. "I don’t believe I've had a budget of more than $300 at any of the companies I've worked at," she said.

On the subject of technologies and tools, she suggested that recruiters tap some of the resources they already have at their disposal, including many of those that are free.

"Not everything has to be sanitized and slick, and produced by the marketing team," Zapar said, adding that the communications can include content coming directly from employees, unedited and in real time, through tools such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Live.

At the end of the day, she said, the goal shouldn't be how employers can get more applicants, but how they can better quality ones. If I'm employer, she explained, "I'd rather have one-tenth the applicants, but they all are just great."



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