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Can "Marketing" Help You Find and Retain Talent?


Just yesterday, the Godin One published a post on the 90/10 Rule of Marketing a Job. This brief ex cathedra tidbit boils down to these two questions he poses:

If marketing works so well that you spend a fortune on it, why aren’t you marketing your jobs? If talent is so important that you are betting the company on it, why aren’t you actually investing in finding and retaining that talent?

Maybe this is just one of those cases where the word “marketing” starts to mean “everything anybody does,” but I don’t believe that “marketing jobs” is the same as “investing in finding and retaining talent.”

For example, finding good talent rarely involves advertising job openings to the world. It usually means leveraging personal networks either on your own or by engaging a recruiter. We have found again and again that the best placements we make result from referrals. But these referrals, while sometimes encouraged by offers of “referral bonuses,” usually come from talking to people we know about the people they know and following the chain of trust to the right candidate.

Similarly, retaining talent depends on creating an experience and an environment that draws talent in and gets them invested in their role and the organization. True retention doesn’t happen when you convince people to stay; it happens when THEY DON’T WANT TO LEAVE.

But wait a second. Maybe Seth isn’t saying that hiring managers should act more like marketers. Maybe he’s saying, marketers should think and act more like hiring managers.

I mean, what if you actually sought out your customers via trusted networks, engaged them in a meaningful way, and then provided them an experience that engendered intense loyalty and commitment to you and your company. You know the way effective recruiters and hiring managers do.



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