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Tue, May 21, 2013

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Is Creativity in Recruitment Dead? The MonsterBuzz Debate.

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On the 13th June, 1pm at the Soho Hotel we’ll be kicking off the first of our MonsterBuzz events for 2013 with what appears to be the extremely hot topic – is creativity in recruitment dead?

Already a debate has kicked off over on Linkedin. Danny Cannon says “”The Medium is the message” so wrote Marshall McLuhan……even more relevant today although many still do not understand the real meaning” and Tom Chesterton added “True. But creativity isn’t just restricted to words and pictures. How you recruit can be just as creatively driven as the materials, message and channel. Looking forward to the debate.”

We’ve interviewed panellist Andy Curlewis (Director of Brand, Digital & Communications at the fast growing RPO firm Ochre House) prior to event to hear what he thinks about the topic.

Did the advent of online recruitment and job boards see the beginning of the demise of good copy, creativity and typography?

In a sense yes but this was more about changing candidate trends (especially professional/premium hires) from active to passive status and the proliferation of channels and media. Rather than a demise, I would say its form and function has changed to accommodate a different market

Do you see any confusion between the employer brand, the EVP and creativity? Could you explain what you see as the key differences?

I’m surprised at how true this is. Especially between the employment aspect of the brand and the EVP. Top line, the former is the reality, the latter is the promise. Creativity, authenticity and relevance come together as the oil that makes the 2 work.

A brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company and most crucially of all, what differentiates that company from the rest. And a career is the most sophisticated sell of them all.

The employment proposition should distil the following:

  • Business vision and objectives
  • The wider corporate and product/service brand
  • Career opportunities & attributes
  • The values, culture & physical experience

…into practical reasons for the right talent to want to work with us

It should give teeth to our resourcing and add depth to our brand – how we genuinely differentiate in the employment market place and the commercial and cultural value we will exchange. It’s the deal between the employer and the employee.

In talking with Mark Rice he said “companies today focus more on the channels and less on creativity and what they are saying” – what’s your view?

Agreed although the balance is swinging back as we now have several years’ ROI to show that the new shiny channels don’t work if you post a load of chod into them. Rather than great creative, we now talk about curating stories. Stories that can be told over a period of time and across a multitude of channels. A clever or inspiring piece of creative can and should be an important sign post, entry point or trigger within that story.

Do organisations value creativity anymore?

Less so than before but that’s what years of recession can do. I don’t think they value creativity less per se, they just have tighter business environments

 Could techniques such as sourcing kill creativity?

In its traditional recruitment advertising form, arguably, but sourcing in its own right cannot replace (or indeed be successful without) an integrated brand strategy that tells the story and brings this to life for the relevant stakeholders in an engaging, and thus creative, way that stands out from the crowd.

Does and RPO have a different view on “creativity” compared to a more traditional Ad Communications agency?

Yes and no. Mostly depends on the RPO. Creativity is not a standalone solution or notion and it is part of the world we live in. RPOs will be more aligned to ROI and results given their commercials are mostly based on vacancies filled, cost and time to hire etc In this context, they should value creativity as helping them sell their roles: find great talent and most importantly convince it to leave their current employer as we are in a risk averse market for quality talent. Great creative, in whatever form, increasingly needs to be substantiated by the reality and will often require a longer term relationship with the candidate across multiple touch points

Have your say about this topic using #mbuzz on Twitter join us at the Soho Hotel on June 13th at 1pm. It’s free to Attend.


2 Responses to “Is Creativity in Recruitment Dead? The MonsterBuzz Debate.”

  1. Phil Welch Says:

    Interesting question. From my point of view it’s not that the industry’s less creative, but just that the nature of the creativity it requires has changed. This is mainly due to the increase in media platforms available to both recruiters and potential candidates.

    Sadly, the days of a finely crafted press advert are becoming fewer and further between as more recruitment activities move online and into mobile. But this has opened the door for new forms of creativity – video, social media campaigns and augmented reality, to mention a few. And, speaking as a creative who’s seen our industry move from meticulously crafting ads on drawing boards to the technology driven campaigns of today, I welcome the new challenges we’re now facing.

    So, no, recruitment isn’t less creative nowadays. It’s just the nature of the industry – and the creativity that drives it – has changed.

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  2. Steve Ward Says:

    I’m gutted I missed this event – it’s a really interesting discussion, and definitely goes beyond the realms of simple `social recruiting` – though I still suggest that it at the heart of it.

    It’s about capturing the imagination of the job-seeker, yes – but not just the job-seeker. We live around a world of sharable content – and the purpose of creative presence, is to stand out from the masses and turn heads, being inspirational and interesting – leading to more inspired applications and connections.

    Where I partly disagree with Alisdair on this – is that it’s less about words en masse, and more about well chosen words supporting great visual imagination.

    Writing a good job ad, isn’t creative recruitment. Putting well chosen words into an alternative visual format – to the benefit of building creating share-ability – is, part of it.

    Creative recruitment is in my opinion though – less about advertising – and more about presence, personality and reputation development, and requires a commitment to transparency; and so the earlier mention of story-telling in the article, is key in the `buy-in`.

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