What is skillset-specific messaging – and why should it be part of your hiring strategy?

November 25th, 2019

In what is now the most difficult UK hiring environment in two decades it's no wonder employers are racing to deploy increasingly creative methods of recruitment.

From film-grade employer brand videos and semi-sentient recruitment chatbots to social media and programmatic advertising, more and more employers are levelling-up the intensity and intelligence of their hiring strategy.

According to Aptitude Research, over 70% of enterprise organisations have invested in recruitment marketing capabilities this year.

While this is great, let's face it: a lot of the time these fancy campaigns don't actually work – or at least, they don’t achieve results that justify the level of resources invested.

One of the biggest reasons is, instead of investing in really understanding their target talent demographics, employers aim to run one campaign that will speak to all of them.

“Be more with us”

“Reach higher, dream bigger”

“If you can’t get into Google, we’re the next best thing!”

OK, maybe not the last one, but you get the drift – generic high-level messaging, with bland design, distributed from one-size-fits-all social media channels.

And the candidate? Disinterested. Disengaged. Disenchanted. Dissed. People don’t care about you until they know you care about them. A lack of effort to appeal to talent on a personal level is one simple way to put them off your role and maybe even your entire employer brand in future.

To create recruitment marketing and employer branding campaigns that really work, we need to get more specific. We need to take the ‘big message’ and make it real at a role or departmental level. We need something that we like to call skillset-specific messaging.

Skillset-specific messaging (SSM) is the approach of tailoring your employer brand to appeal directly to the most important skillsets you’re hiring: be they creatives; programmers; recruiters; marketers; salespeople; anyone.

Instead of boring candidates with generic, theoretical value propositions, SSM enables a highly personalised approach that can convert even the most passive of candidates into applications – which is key when you’re hiring from candidate-centric markets with skills shortages or high demand for talent.

By becoming one of the few succeeding with bespoke messaging, you can create campaigns, slogans, job ads and content that really resonates with your target candidate.

A powerful example of this is what Infosys were able to achieve for their developer hiring in North America. There are currently 627,000 US tech jobs left unfilled in the US, and the average developer is on the job market for just four days before being hired.

Despite being a global leader in tech and consulting, Infosys faced a huge challenge in this market, where they were competing with tech unicorns and hip startups for an incredibly limited pool of local tech talent.

As strong as their overarching employer brand has become, it was skillset-specific messaging that enabled the organisation to overcome these market challenges and hire America’s most powerful full-stack developers.

Infosys built an end-to-end marketing and hiring campaign, tailoring the messaging to suit the niche group of engineers who met its specialist demands. In less than three months of going live, they succeeded in reaching, attracting and converting high-quality talent.

Starting by developing the identity of their most ideal candidate, they conducted in-depth and strategic research on how to reach this group via SSM. Through extensive social media monitoring, they identified that the target demographic of full-stack developers interact frequently with isometric designs, empowering messages and a relaxed tone.

Infosys’ subsequent ‘You Bring The Power’ hiring campaign incorporated all of its findings into a distinctive SSM creative that could be distributed across multiple digital and real-world touchpoints to win the hearts of ideal candidates.

As an integral part of the campaign, SSM engaged developers via topics and activations that both Infosys and its dream candidates cared about. From a full stack programmer networking event to an anti-fake news ‘fix our social media feeds’ hackathon, Infosys was putting candidate empathy at the heart of its hiring in a way that nurtured a new relationship based on trust, mutual values and respect.

By engaging with talent on a more personal level, Infosys expressed the empathy and humanity needed to spark a relationship with full-stack developers.

By advocating for the needs of the candidate, Infosys built a candidate rapport long before interview stage.

Over a period of 12 months, Infosys generated 228,000 campaign engagements and 1,500 applications – from which they hired 51 of America’s top full-stack developers.

Hiring the right talent is never easy – particularly when you’re looking for a high level of technical skill, like Infosys. But, by using skillset-specific messaging to speak directly to the audience you want to engage, you can begin to stand out from the competition and engage candidates of a higher calibre.

Are you interested in hearing more about how we helped Infosys use skillset-specific messaging to hire elite developers? Want to find out how you can incorporate a similar approach into your hiring strategy? Register your interest here to set up a conversation with one of our strategic client partners