In today’s fast-moving job market, L&D has a vital role to play in attracting talent. Does your organisation have a communications strategy to highlight opportunities for learning and career growth? Learn the 5 essential steps to creating an L&D communications plan to help your organisation recruit the talent you need for business success.
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Has your organisation been struggling to recruit the right talent since the Great Reshuffle? Full-time employees continue to resign, seeking greater career growth opportunities, better salaries, employers who promote work-life integration and flexible working, including interim or contract work. This mobility in the job market is expected to grow to 78 million in 2023. For the modern jobseeker, one of the key criteria in choosing an employer, as well as alignment with an organisation’s brand and reputation, is upskilling and learning opportunities.
This is where L&D leaders come in. In the new workplace, L&D has a vital role to play in talent acquisition.
But how exactly do you promote L&D and career growth opportunities to attract top talent?
The answer is in your external communications plan. But it’s not only that. Just as L&D activities need to align with business goals, teams should work closely with HR to align agendas.
Take the young and dynamic UK web services business, Silken Web. Despite offering lucrative benefits like work flexibility, childcare and wellbeing support, they just couldn’t find the right candidates. Those they hired, left in search of organisations prioritising learning and growth opportunities.
Something had to change.
Silken Web’s HR, L&D and Comms team collaborated to create an external communications plan which put L&D as an integral part of the organisation’s brand and recruitment process. They knew that they couldn’t wait until the interview phase to tell candidates the story of the rich learning opportunities they offered. Instead, they spearheaded their recruitment content on social media and their website with information about learning and career growth opportunities, emphasising how they care about their employees’ development.
Are you ready for the modern jobseeker? Read on to discover how Silken Web crafted their L&D communications plan and how it improved recruitment.
1. Align L&D communications plans with the organisation’s brand
The success of your external L&D communications plan is knowing who you are targeting to recruit and how you can appeal to them.
What roles do you predict you’ll need to advertise this year? What skills and attitudes are needed in these positions?
Silken Web’s L&D team worked cross-functionally with HR and business managers to draft recruitment plans. They created a candidate persona sheet to build up a profile of their target candidate. They agreed that their brand’s fun and creative personality should be reflected in the tone of the job descriptions and the social media assets. L&D prepared employee stories and testimonials for the recruitment drive to showcase how the organisation values and invests in tailored career development.
Time spent collaboratively preparing the L&D communications plan is certainly starting to pay off. Silken Web have seen a huge improvement recently in the quality of candidates applying.
2. Select content types that align with candidate personas
The format you choose for your recruitment content will determine its success. How to choose which formats to communicate your L&D strategy?
Firstly, think about the mix of content types that work best to convey your brand? And what about the preferences of your target job candidate? Video, articles, factsheets, testimonials, quotes or infographics?
Video might seem an obvious choice as we live in a hyper visual world. It’s quick to understand as well as convincing. People tend to trust you more when they’ve seen and heard you. What’s more, video gets more views and shows up more in online searches.
Or explore infographics to deliver key L&D messaging. Design one pagers on core values, company benefits, professional development initiatives and employee testimonials. For jobseekers who prefer detailed information, prepare articles and invite comments to help you shape future L&D recruitment assets.
As a young tech business, video is in Silken Web’s DNA. Who best to help than their current employees? They made videos on their phones about how their learning and development journey is a connected process from recruitment through the entire career cycle. They spoke enthusiastically about how they had upskilled and moved into leadership roles. On their careers web page and in their candidate emailing, they added videos of a ‘day in the life of’ stories from employees in different departments reflecting responsibilities, skills, values and culture which got large numbers of views.
Silken Web also love infographics and know that this format appeals to their potential demographic. They designed an infographic to depict their learning and growth initiatives, such as coaching and mentorship. Another used quotes from diverse employees from different departments on the core values they most identify with and the aspect of company culture they most enjoy. Job candidates cited these as influential in their reason for applying.
3. Select communication channels to raise awareness
The reach, speed and shareability of content makes social media channels one of the most effective ways to attract talent today. According to recent research, 52% of potential candidates use four or more resources when conducting a job search. Plan to target a multitude of platforms and increase the chances of candidates seeing your adverts.
As a tech business, Silken Web knew the attraction of social media recruitment well. Informed by the candidate persona sheet, they used relevant platforms which also aligned with their brand: TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. They refreshed the careers page on their website with L&D stories and attended online and in-person job fairs. The Marketing team tracked engagement with each channel and continually made adjustments to target the right audience and increase applications from target personas.
4. Develop content for different channels
Adapting content is vital to harmonise with each channel’s ‘persona.’ Your website is where candidates typically go for more detailed content. Add factsheets, articles, diagrams of processes and longer testimonials to showcase your brand.
LinkedIn, with its vast networks of professional connections, is an important recruitment screening tool. Keeping your organisation’s profile current and posting and commenting regularly is key to maintain a presence and catch the eye of passive and active candidates. Current employees can share job postings on their profiles, promoting an internal referral process which expands the talent pool 10 times.
As for Facebook, users are diverse and have a high retention rate, presenting a great opportunity for engagement with jobseekers and sharing industry insights. With a ‘Job Openings’ tab now at the top of the profile, candidates can easily find vacancies. For a workaround to Twitter’s restrictive character count, use ‘Twitter cards’, which enable you to attach photos and videos to get your message out. The hashtag is still a good way for your message to be found. Instagram continues to be extremely popular with its videos and stylised images and ease of sharing. Just right for millennials and Gen Z applicants.
Silken Web used YouTube and Instagram to broadcast employee and culture-focused videos. And they’re popular. On LinkedIn, they shared posts about L&D opportunities, infographics on the recruitment process and testimonials. This drew in plenty of good fit candidates and engagement.
5. Communicate L&D opportunities during the recruitment process
Silken Web know they have to shout about their company brand – what it stands for and how it nurtures employees’ talent – in the job advert to make it stand out. After all, your employer brand is what turns a passive jobseeker into an active applicant.
They showed proof of their company’s achievements using examples and data. They added DEI data to the adverts to show all talent is welcome and promoted in their organisation. They showcased their commitment to learning and career advancement with real examples. From regular learning weeks and motivational talks to lunch and learn bite-sized learning and the quarterly wellbeing festival with an appetising menu of personal development activities.
Silken Web also know job applicants are keen to have career trajectory timescales, so they shared success stories of employees’ development journeys. They also informed candidates that an L&D session is part of the recruitment process. This gave them the opportunity to learn from candidates which skills they need to progress, to explain learning and development opportunities as well as seeing how well candidates learn and if they are a good fit.
All these activities helped Silken Web get recruitment right.
With L&D a key driver in talent acquisition, work cross-functionally to incorporate recruitment into your external L&D communications plan. Leverage the popularity of social media to boost your profile and presence and entice the right talent by showcasing L&D opportunities in your recruitment campaign.
Partner with us to create a customised programme to grow your English and communication skills capabilities and improve your communications plans. Leverage our consultancy and training expertise, garnered over 80 years, to support your recruitment drives and attract top talent.
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