This is a live blog from Austin, and TalentNetlive. i’m watching my friend Michael long speaking. Long is from Rackspace, and is responsible for culture branding, taking a different approach to talent attraction. Michael started out as a recruiter and started blogging to be able to help candidates without losing the time he needed to sell.
Michael was attracted to social recruiting in rebellion against the marketing approach taken by many organisations. Long wanted to connect the people telling their story in the places they want to hear it.
long was brought in originally as a contractor to build an interactive career site where Rackspace employees, known as Rackers to tell their story. For the first 6 months it was all about content, and encouraging people to tell their story.
After 6 months, Rackspace brought in Jobs2Web to add a little science to the process.
The Rackertalent site attracted 37% of the traffic to the ATS, but an incredible 60% of hire. long put together a hit squad of internal talent to tell the story of the Rackspace culture. The team is made up of 8 people from videographers through to cartoonists, and it’s working. longs vision is not to attract the “best” talent, but to attract the right people for the business. The right people are the ones who fit the culture, not necessarily the best qualified or experienced. He feels strongly that retention begins in the recruiting process, and when there’s a retention problem it’s a hiring problem. the hiring message needs to be true and authentic. People need to have enough information to be able to make a defined decision that a job is right for them.
Culture is what it is. It’s not a message or something you can manufacture, but it is something you can put in a public place.
long showed a video to illustrate this called a day in the life. The video was shot, mixed and screened in one day, to make it a true reflection. Data wise, the numbers show that people who hit the culture section on the career site viewed 3 times as many pages, stayed for twice as long and were 70% more likely to get a job with the business. People interested in culture are really interested in your job rather than a job. Long feels retention is the biggest indicator of how well a business marry s culture with talent attraction and hiring.
Long reinforced my belief that your content has to reflect the real thing. People have to join the place they are expecting. I’ve been to Rackspace in Sanantonio, and it is very much like the culture reflected in the content. The Rackspace hoopla from slides to get down stairs, and the welcoming ceremonies are not for everyone, which is why showing what they are is important.
Check out Long and http://www.Rackertalent.com. You will feel the culture, and understand his message.
I’m a Michael long fan.