The new President and CEO of Procter & Gamble is not exactly the first person you think of when the topic turns to developing an ecommerce recruiting strategy to attract the best talent in digital marketing and ecommerce. Not to belittle his accomplishments, of course. Roger Taylor worked his way up to the top job at the CPG giant starting from production manager right out of college, and now commands a $75B+ corporation that operates in approximately 80 countries. But even a CEO of a Fortune 50 company can sometimes say things that causes a small business owner like myself to get some inspiration.
Many people don’t realize that P&G is the world’s largest advertiser, so when Taylor talks about marketing and advertising, people listen. When he talked with CNBC recently, I listened closely as he discussed his company’s growing ad spend in digital marketing, and how the most effective digital platforms for P&G are the ones that have a broad reach. This past summer, the company revealed that sales of its popular Febreze brand air freshener stagnated when its marketing campaign was limited to specific target groups, but then rose back up again when the campaign was broadened to include a wider audience.
So, what does this have to do with recruiting?
Actually, more than you might think. If CNBC were to interview me about a typical corporate ecommerce recruiting strategy, I would tell them that based on my experience- which is pretty extensive- many employers target their ecommerce recruitment campaigns much like P&G did for Febreze: A need arises and an ecommerce job posting goes up hoping to target the right candidates. “I have a need for a quarterback, right now,” is the kind of thinking that describes the traditional approach to hiring. So the hiring manager wonders, “Did Tom Brady quit today?” This kind of position-centric approach works great when there is a large pool of immediately available talent. But in the current tight labor market for online marketers, employers must think differently. Companies need to hunt for talent continuously. Only then will you capture talent when they’re ready to make a move. What’s the best way to conduct a continuous ecommere recruiting talent search? Good old fashioned, wide-ranging, brand-based messaging. Many of you do that every day when you market your company’s products and services. Why not apply that to talent acquisition? I call it thinking “outside the job post.” It could be a social media campaign that touts your family-centric culture, or LinkedIn posts advertising newly won business or awards you’ve received. Lots of ways to be creative here.
In social media, targeting can be a very good thing. And as the P&G example shows, the wider range of social media’s reach can also help your business in ways you may not have even thought about for your ecommerce recruiting.
Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran digital marketing and ecommerce recruiters, and has been called the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 29 years.