Investing in a targeted, regionalized approach for recruiting pays off.
By Jill Kuhlman
The term glocal has been floating around the business world for a while. It has even made its way into the dictionary. Oxford defines glocal as “reflecting or characterized by both local and global considerations.” Companies across the globe are adapting their products and services to suit local markets. Take, for examples, fast food restaurateur McDonald’s, and retailer Macy’s. McDonald’s offers a standard menu in all its locations, while providing specialty sandwiches in specific locales: Little Chorizo Melt in Britain; Maharaja Mac in India; McItaly burger in Italy; McLobster in Canada; and Ebi Filit-O in Japan. Macy’s department stores have adjusted their sizing, colors, and home products on a store-by-store basis. They modify sweater weights for the appropriate climate zones and sell bigger pots and pans in Utah, where families are larger.
McDonald’s and Macy’s are just two manifestations of this new glocal trend in our everyday lives. Now how can we bring that approach to our talent acquisition strategy? Companies and clients want their talent acquisition teams to think globally, but act locally. Organizations want a unified (or global) branding message, but also want the capabilities to adapt that brand, message, product, or service to better serve localized markets. This is a great concept, but how do you create this glocal strategy within your talent acquisition team by making it both effective and measurable?
Hiring and developing the strongest regionalized recruiting teams are crucial to every glocal talent acquisition strategy. If your team is entirely in-house, assign specific team members to different regions of the country—or the world—and have them individually own and develop regional expertise. If all or part of your team is outsourced, request recruiters who are specialists in certain regions. Some recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) providers also offer virtual teams.
Regionalized recruiters carry the benefit of knowing geographic landscapes intimately and having a deep understanding of market conditions, trends, and labor pools. This also enables them to create extensive and active talent networks. In the age of Web 2.0, networking and referrals have become invaluable tools, enabling localized recruiters to be better equipped to maintain and grow candidate pools.
Assembling the regionalized dream team is only one piece to the puzzle. Businesses must ensure that talent acquisition teams—internal or outsourced—have a deep knowledge and understanding of an organization’s global messaging. Can they tell you what you do and, more importantly, why you do it? Do they know your audience (both consumers and potential employees)? Do they understand your core values and your corporate DNA? They should, and they need to.
As an organization, you need to ensure that your talent acquisition team is branding your organization in a consistent manner. The better they understand your global message, the better equipped they will be to adapt that message on a local level. Recruiters are the “face” of your company and—in many ways—one of your biggest brand ambassadors.
Customizing Your Message
You are now marching forward: Your team is in place, and they understand your messaging. Arming them with the tools they need to “customize” that message in order to meet the demands of local markets, however, is the challenge still ahead. The best way to do this is to gather marketplace intelligence. Pool information from local resources such as the chamber of commerce, census, search engines, and the department of labor. These are all excellent avenues in which to gather market data, but do not forget to leverage the knowledge of your regionalized team. They are experts in their regions and have on-the-ground knowledge that can simply not be found online. Have them memorialize their insight in a company intranet or CRM tool. Consider spending some of your budget with research companies in order to better understand the competitive landscape. This will no doubt be an investment you won’t regret.
It is imperative to be deliberate when creating localized messages. The more market data you have to thoroughly understand your labor pool and market trends, the better. This will help you accurately create a customized message. The more research done on the back end, the more effective your message will be to your target audience.
Based on the market data that is collected, have your talent acquisition team customize your global message. Allowing your team to customize your global message in order to be more relevant for their local market will drive both better and more qualified candidates.
• Is the organization near a number of large colleges and
universities? If so, allow recruiters to focus efforts in university recruitment, creating internship programs and emphasizing their message on training and growth opportunities.
• Is it a family-oriented market? If so, highlight work/life benefits,
job sharing, or flexible work arrangements.
• Does the region have a high volunteer rate? If so, allow your
recruiters to adapt your global message to giving back opportunities that your company offers.
Social media has made the world a smaller place, and qualified candidates have more options. It is imperative to use social media and technology to your advantage by targeting specific audiences, groups, and locations. FourSquare.com, Google+, and Meetup.com are great examples of social media sites that your talent acquisition team can use to build relationships with potential candidates. Social media is also a great way to drive your glocal message. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are social media sites that have groups in which your team can drive customized content to their specific markets. Make sure your recruiters are developing and constantly engaging their local talent communities. They should be driving relevant content and creating opportunities for dialogue in order to engage, attract, and ultimately hire the best candidates.
You’ve made it this far, and you have the finish line in sight, but do not ignore the most important element in the creation of a glocal talent acquisition strategy. Track and monitor your results! Is your localized message working? If not, gather more market research, and revamp. Is your social media driving the appropriate traffic? If not, analyze and reassess. How large and active are your recruiters’ talent communities? Are they keeping their talent communities interested and engaged? Your applicant tracking system should have the capabilities to track the various ways, sites, and avenues that candidates use to find and apply on your career site. Analyze this data frequently and make adjustments accordingly. As social media quickly changes and evolves, your strategies will need to reflect those changes and advancements. Knowing where to invest your marketing dollars, specific to location, will increase your output tenfold.
Glocal is the new buzzword in talent acquisition and for good reason. When a company’s brand is able to be glocal, more candidates will be interested. When putting together your customized strategy, keep in mind that market research and a properly aligned talent acquisition team will create a strong foundation. Educate your talent acquisition team so that they completely understand your global brand. Make them true brand ambassadors.
This knowledge, along with the market research and local insight, will enable them to truly localize your message and attract the best candidates for your roles. At the end of the day, metrics matter. Keep accurate records of activity, talent communities, candidate slates, and candidate quality. You should see an increase in all of them. Bottom line: Measure results. A glocal talent acquisition strategy should enable your team to hire better quality candidates, increase their longevity, decrease their time to fill, and ultimately save your company countless dollars. Trust me, your organization will thank you.
Jill Kuhlman is director of partnership and strategy for WilsonHCG.