RallyFwd Recap: 5 Lessons Learned to Get an Edge on Talent Engagement

Wow! What an amazing virtual event! The RallyFwd Virtual Conference brought together thousands of recruitment marketers, candidate experience managers, recruiters, employer branding experts, and talent acquisition professionals on May 1.  This was an incredible opportunity to learn from the expertise of practitioners who are successfully enacting talent engagement strategies in their organizations. And as a sponsor, Talemetry was thrilled to support the event created by Rally Recruitment Marketing.

Rally™ is an online community of 17,000 practitioners bringing recruitment and marketing together, where ideas are shared to help members gain new skills, advance their careers and deliver business impact. Lori Sylvia, Founder and CEO of Rally, created an amazing speaker line-up with experts from well-known global organizations both on the mainstage and in multiple breakout sessions. These speakers shared both personal and professional stories, lessons learned from their own roles, and examples of effective talent engagement strategies and technologies that create a recruiting advantage. The featured speakers of the virtual conference included:

• Megan Conley, Founder & CEO, Social Tribe
• Aaron Kraljev, Vice President of Employer Brand & Candidate Advocacy, Wells Fargo
• Katrina Fowler, Recruitment Marketing Manager, BAE Systems
• Jill Shabelman, Employer Brand & Marketing Manager, Deloitte
• Mark Diller, Senior Employer Brand Manager, T-Mobile
• Jenna Sandker, Candidate Experience Manager, Memorial Sloan Kettering
• Joseph Brim, Brand Strategist, Discover
• Frankie Buonocore, Talent Acquisition Associate, Radius Intelligence
• Amy Warner, Director, Talent Acquisition, iCIMS
• Gretchen Pfeifer, Executive Director, Human Capital, TTEC
• Brandon Linn, Manager, Talent Management, Accolade

These speakers provided insights and forward-thinking strategies, skills and technologies for improving how they engage talent with their employer brands. And they detailed how practitioners today can give their organizations an edge in recruiting candidates in today’s socially and digitally connected landscape. Here we will take a look at a handful of these sessions and provide highlights discussed throughout the virtual event. If you’d like to view each of the sessions individually, you can register for the on-demand content.

5 Lessons Learned to RallyFwd for Talent Engagement

#1: The New Language of Engagement

Megan Conley of Social Tribe was the Keynote Speaker for the RallyFwd Virtual Conference, and explored The New Language of Talent Engagement. This thought-provoking session examined top digital trends today, and specific strategies and tactics to deepen engagement with audiences. In a world filled with digital connection and technology, candidates may feel a loss of trust and experience content fatigue. This requires that recruitment marketing professionals develop a new language of engagement, leveraging four key pillars to be authentic, personal, relevant and real-time. Other key takeaways discussed during this keynote session included learning to connect with your audience one-to-one, including with messaging apps and chatbot technology, building authenticity and trust with candidates through live storytelling, and connecting with talent on an emotional level through video content. Finally, Megan discussed the importance of using recruitment marketing to give employees a platform to tell stories through their own lens, and using conversational engagement to dial up curiosity and interaction at the individual level.

talent-engagement#2: Engaging Your Company to Create Your Talent Brand

Brandon Linn of Accolade provided an outstanding session on storytelling within the context of an employer brand. To more authentically express its cultural cornerstones and value system, the organization leveraged greater storytelling and humanized co-authorship from employees. This translated into the co-creation of employer brand content, employee ambassadors and a grass-roots change initiative to integrate into both talent acquisition and talent management.

So how was this accomplished? Brandon shared four strategies that drove this revitalization of creating the talent brand internally. First, Accolade let its employees be its editorial guide, using real culture and experiences lived at the organization. Second, the company ensured it empathized with candidates, new hires and existing employees to co-author its narrative. For example, they asked new hires about the spark or moment they knew they had made the decision to join the organization. Third, they translated insights into richer assets and engagement techniques, like broader programs, career development, and employee leave policies. Overall, embarking on this journey enabled Accolade to genuinely create a talent brand that truly resonated with right-fit candidates, employees and advocates across their organization.

#3: Designing a Strategy for Micro Talent Networks

Jill Shabelman of Deloitte discussed the organization’s strategy and approach for designing micro talent networks. When the organization recognized that micro talent networks could be leveraged to drive talent engagement by providing more relevant, personalized content, the company set out to design a strategy for building these targeted sites. By identifying the most needed skill sets for the organization, building entry points for different communities and creating an engagement model to provide relevant content for engaging talent over the long-term, Deloitte was able to create these communities specifically for candidates with targeted skill sets or interests. Throughout the course of this project, the team at Deloitte learned that by aligning the project to the business need, promoting micro talent networks to the right audiences, and continually providing value to candidates by giving them relevant content, recruiting teams were able to more effectively source candidates and drive engagement across the talent journey.

#4: Secrets for Engaging Talent in a Competitive Market

Jenna Sandker of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center gave two great secrets that engage talent in a competitive market—move fast and provide a high-touch experience for candidates. Within the context of organizational growth and an employee-driven market, Memorial Sloan had to think outside the box with how it was finding and engaging candidates internally and externally. Leading the candidate experience, Jenna focused on two key areas, including the career website and recruitment events. By offering a more engaging digital experience, segmenting by persona groups on the career site across experienced hires, students and new grads, and veterans, the organization was able to make its recruitment content more relevant and engaging for these core healthcare audiences.

improving-candidate-experienceSecond, its events strategy was all about access. With the knowledge that access to the facilities meant engagement, Memorial Sloan would hold events to bring candidates in-house and meet hiring managers, recruiters, potential colleagues, network and tour the facilities. This strategy was essential to driving greater engagement through a high-touch, personalized experience that really drew in potential candidates. Throughout this journey, the organization has learned several lessons along the way. First, candidates appreciate access. Second, high-touch engagement can be scalable, and third, organizational growth can be an opportunity to try new things across the recruiting process.

#5: Breathing Life Into Recruitment Events Requires an X-Factor

The final mainstage presenter at the RallyFwd event was Joseph Brim of Discover Financial. During this engaging session, Joseph discussed three key areas based on his experiences—seeing the ‘hidden gems,’ designing with deliberate empathy, and providing a recruiting event framework. He challenged attendees to be empathetic to every single candidate at recruiting events, and to take advantage of the opportunity to drive engagement with individuals so your employer brand resonates with people you come into contact with. These four hidden gems included recognizing intent, interest, intimacy and engagement for each candidate, and to truly think of people who attend events, not the requisitions to fill.

Joseph drew upon his significant experience planning large-scale events, and implored recruiters and talent acquisition professionals to employ Cathedral Thinking. This is a way to strategize on how to engage potential candidates across multi-event platforms with employer brand expressions that will stand the test of time and help us build organizations that last decades in the future. He provided several lessons learned based on his event experiences, including to avoid bringing your own biases, to view people as valuable assets, and to get up and get out to engage candidates. He also emphasized the importance of diversifying collateral and avoiding focus on just netting new hires as the overarching recruitment goal. This presentation provided new thinking about how to truly re-examine the way you conduct recruitment events with a candidate-first mindset to create a positive effect for your company and your employer brand.

It Takes the Right Strategies, Processes and Technology to Engage Talent

The five lessons learned here are just a sampling of the insights provided from the speakers. If you want to learn additional strategies you can use in your organization, then check out the remainder of sessions on the RallyFwd Virtual Conference website.  And while these strategies and processes have tremendous application for your recruiting organization, make sure that you also know how to leverage the proper technology to amplify your recruitment messaging and enact your strategies. To get the most out of what you’ve put in, you need data-driven insight into your full talent acquisition strategy that also helps you scale recruitment marketing in a cost-effective way. That’s where recruitment marketing technology can have an immediate impact on amplifying the power of your employer brand to create lasting ROI.

If you are ready to take the next step and learn how you can gain an immediate, complementary impact from your employer brand, EVP and recruitment messaging, we would love to show you how the right technology can help you better attract, connect with and engage the right talent at the right time for your organization. 

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