Turn to Your Employees For Your Talent Marketing Program

Big ideas like “crowdsourcing,” “analytics,” and “transparency” start out as exciting, but nebulous concepts. Wait a few years and they go from being exciting to being just the obvious way to get work done. Here’s one case that I think captures how the world has changed.

NextWave Hire is an employment marketing technology built by some young guys out of Harvard Business School. The goal: create a compelling message that will attract great employees. Let’s look at how these guys tackle the issue vs. how my generation tackled it:

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Creelman chart

What is interesting

  • Things that may have been impossible in the past (e.g. getting employees to create acceptably good marketing videos on their own) may now be easy thanks to technology and the skill sets of a generation raised in a digital age.

What is really important

  • Our assumptions on the obvious way to do things can easily become out of date. If the new methods (employees rather than experts, video rather that text, data rather than opinion) are inherently superior, then your excellent execution of the old methods won’t be enough. We need to make a sustained effort to learn about new approaches and the best way to do so is to spend some time experimenting with new techniques. This doesn’t come naturally in a world where we are driven by fighting today’s fire, so we’ll need to make a special effort.

Note to my readers: I’m always interested in innovative firms that signal where HR is heading. I love these firms that are striving to make a difference, but many are startups and a mention does not necessarily mean they’ll be right for you.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.



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