On February 25, the UX-Marathon platform hosted an online conference UX-Marathon # 23 | Design management patterns. UX and design directors of a number of digital companies shared their experience in hiring and developing employees. The event was curated by the design director of Raiffeisenbank, author and host of the course “Design Management Patterns” Yuri Vetrov… In his own speech at the conference, Yuri told how an HR brand helps to improve the recruitment funnel and what methods can be used to pump it. We offer you material based on this report.
Product brand and employer brand
How to attract strong and talented designers to your team, especially if the company’s image in the professional community has not yet been developed, or, worse, is negative? To change attitudes towards a company, you need to improve the products it produces, but this usually requires fresh personnel. Who would want to work for a company without a good and reliable reputation?
To break this vicious circle, you will have to act in two directions at once, working on both the product brand and the employer brand.
Who is “caught” for the HR brand?
The team consists of designers of various levels: junior and trainees, regular and senior designers, design managers and art directors. They are all interested in different things, and the hiring process itself follows different paths: somewhere it is an incoming stream of responses, somewhere the company itself is engaged in hunting.
If the main thing for interns and junior designers is to gain at least some experience, and a specific company that agrees to give them this opportunity is not so important, then regular and senior designers Is the main battleground between different companies, and this is where the HR brand is most effective. However, for both design managers and art directors, a respected HR brand will be a solid argument in favor of a career in this particular company.
Another plus of a strong HR brand is that it is easier for you to retain designers and increase the term of work in the company above the average one and a half to two years.
There are three main reasons why does it work:
- external respect for the company affects the self-esteem of its employees;
- the exchange of knowledge and experience with other design teams on the market improves, because you are interesting, it is interesting to talk to you;
- free and accessible external events are also useful for the designers of the company.
At the same time, you need to understand that investments in the HR brand have delayed effect: a company does not always have open vacancies in order to see an immediate surge of interest after external activity. However, the development of an HR brand gives a much greater and systemic result than, for example, an aggressive offer of vacancies to participants in conferences or meetups.
HR brand development
1. Defining goals
You can use a hiring funnel as a target model. This is a great tool to help you analyze how a company is filling various vacancies, how many people go through each stage, and how long the hiring process takes in general.
The HR brand primarily affects the top of the hiring funnel: how many people apply for a job, how many drop out in the early stages, what percentage of applicants you yourself want to go further with.
A bad or weak HR brand makes hiring more difficult – fewer specialists are responding to vacancies, and their level, as a rule, leaves much to be desired. Thus, our goal is make it so that there are more candidates at the entrance, and they are stronger…
2. Thinking over the coverage model
Now that we know what we want to achieve, we need to decide on a coverage model. Those you are trying to reach can be divided into three groups:
- designers are the main reference point: you hire them, and their opinion is most important;
- IT community as a whole – how much has the attitude towards the brand changed;
- fame in the whole country.
The latter figure is not entirely indicative, but it is still useful: after all, if you have broken the ceiling of local fame, it will be easier for you to achieve both increased reach and strengthen the HR brand.
The second point to remember is duration of effect… The effect of any events gradually fades away, so you need to regularly maintain interest in yourself with new events.
Estimated time frame for effective coverage:
- publication – 3 weeks;
- meetap – 1.5 months;
- conference – 4 months;
- training course – 3 months.
All HR brand promotion activities are combined into communication plan…
In terms of communication, green color denotes the direct effect of the event, gray – informational “tail” preceding the event and / or following it.
This approach will allow you to correctly distribute events throughout the year in order to constantly remain in sight of the members of the professional community.
For a small team, the communication plan can be much more modest, including, for example, only publications and speaking at side events.
3. Choosing methods
Let’s take a closer look at the methods of pumping the HR brand.
- Publications on the local and global media market
Publications are the most accessible way to communicate design within a company. They may include:
- product launch articles;
- portfolio sites;
- awards (local and global);
- publications on methods and practices of work.
Given the peculiarity of our mentality to value foreign rather than domestic, it is worth including publications in Western publications in the communication plan.
If you publish a case study, try not to make it look like a collection of pictures with short captions, of which there are a great many on the Internet. Describe the problem that you had to solve, explain why it was important, tell about the methods and stages of its solution. Your publication will be remembered if it contains useful information that the reader can use in his work.
- Conferences, meetups
Conferences and meetups are more expensive and more difficult to organize, but they engage the audience better and provide more reach.
This can be either your own online or offline event, or a section at someone else’s conference. Both options are good: in the first case, you unite people who are already loyal to you, in the second, you get the opportunity to communicate with a new audience.
Contests are a solution to an interesting design problem (or several problems) that is related to your products or completely independent.
This is a very useful and interesting tool, but you should not repeat the common mistake and wait for breakthrough ideas from the participants regarding your products. After all, your team has been working on this problem for weeks and months, and the contestant will only spend a couple of days and obviously will not have time to dive deep enough into the topic.
As a rule, all solutions proposed by the contestants have already been tested by the team and do not have much value. But more important goals are achieved – brand promotion and recruitment (from among the winners of the competition).
- Education: courses and trainings
Educational courses can be organized on your own site, online or within the school / university. You can also act as a guest lecturer in someone else’s courses.
Trainings and courses, in addition to working for an HR brand, help to train potential employees, improve speakers, and test programs. However, they require a lot of investment of time and effort, so they make sense only when you foresee a significant amount of open vacancies – without this, you “heat the universe.”
- Personal brands of a leader and specific professionals
A simple tool that builds trust in the company. If a person with a strong personal brand chooses your company, this is a sign for the professional community: there is potential for interesting challenges and challenges.
You need your own channels to talk about yourself and the events that the company holds. These include:
- website of the design team;
- blog (on your own site or on Medium);
- pages in social networks (Facebook, Instagram, BKontakte, Twitter);
- portfolio sites (Behance, Dribbble);
- email newsletter;
- Telegram channel;
- YouTube channel.
Their channels help to significantly increase your reach.
Important: all events (training, conferences, competitions, etc.) must be completely free. Your task is not to make money, but to promote your HR brand and attract employees.
4. Emission assessment
The most important assessment tool is still the same recruitment funnel… We look at how it changes quantitatively and qualitatively – by the number of people at the entrance, by screenings at different stages, and by how quickly you fill a vacancy.
Another indicator is a change in attitudes towards the HR brand. You can find out in two ways:
- regular polling in the trade community as a whole;
- poll of visitors to your events.
For publications, the evaluation parameters are coverage, citation, involvement in discussions, hitting key publications, as well as the general background (positive, negative or neutral comments).
For events, contests, and courses, two metrics indicate results:
- contact cost (the ratio of the total budget to the number of offline visitors / students);
- how many of the designers who applied for jobs were at your events / how many students from your courses you hired.
Instead of a conclusion
A pumped up HR brand helps you:
- hire stronger designers;
- improve the company’s image in the professional community;
- to raise the motivation of the design team due to a better attitude towards its work;
- reduce the turnover of specialists.
In addition, the HR brand ultimately helps to develop the profession and the market, which makes it possible to play for a long time – after all, more strong designers come to the market, and you have someone to choose from.
Finally, it’s important to remember this: HR brand is a multiplier that enhances your product success. He will not be able to strengthen what is not there.
You can watch the report of Yuri Vetrov HR-brand to simplify recruitment on the UX-Marathon platform. There you can also find the speeches of other speakers of the online conference UX-Marathon # 23 | Design management patterns about recruiting and developing UX specialists, IT outstaffing, internship programs for designers, and coordination features of an international design team.