For websites, stickiness is either how many pages you visit, how many visits you make (repeat usage) or time spent per visit (session stickiness). The stickier your site, the longer people stay and the more times they visit.
In the marketing world, sticky marketing doesn’t just focus on getting new customers to your business but to make them return and buy more by offering them a great experience.
So what does this have to do with HR?
/sourcing has been to place an advert and then select a candidate from the response. But the most innovative companies out there are creating candidate stickiness – where a candidate not only wants to come and work there, but they keep in touch if there aren’t any current vacancies. To create candidate stickiness you need to be innovative in putting your employment brand out there (a careers website is not enough!) and then creating interaction with the company culture to attract people. If you’ve created candidate stickiness, when you need to hire someone, you’ll already have a pool of great people to choose from – without even needing to recruit!
What are the companies who are sticky doing differently?
• When Atlassian needed to fill IT roles they took a red bus around Europe with a campaign called ‘We’re coming to steal your geeks’. They created mass interest, filled all the roles and had IT geeks queuing at the door to work there.
• Put adverts in unusual places. Google have used billboards with maths problems that have to be solved which lead to a website with vacancies. Voltswagon sent damaged cars out to garages across Germany with a job advert hidden under the car to lure new mechanics!
• Using social media to get your brand out there and interact. This may be on Twitter with posts not about job roles, but about the company or that just reflect the culture or are interesting to read, or having an active Facebook page and building a candidate pool there.
• Running on-line competitions or games to test skills. L’Oreal and Brandstorm launched one this year for undergraduates with an interest in marketing - instantly creating brand interaction. Check it out at http://www.brandstorm.loreal.com/ Marriott International launched a virtual hotel game called “My Marriot Hotel” with players from 120 countries participating. A third then click on the companies career site. Deloitte have a virtual office game for their China offices which gives candidates an idea of what the job will be like and they can chat with real employees.
• Having excellent employee referral schemes. And on that note, also asking others if they know someone. When Derek Handley from the B team recently needed to recruit someone to lead the NZ part of the business he launched The Shoulder Tap. If you want to see a completely different approach visit http://theshouldertap.com/
What happens if you don’t become sticky? It’s going to be harder to find the best people for a role or even find anyone at all. And with websites like Glassdoor.com where employees can post what it’s really like to work somewhere, you need to make sure your culture backs up what you’ve promised to candidates.
In the world of IT, sticky computer systems are the ones that are hard to extract yourself from. If you’ve entered a whole lot of real data during your trial period, or used the system to create work then you’re much more likely to purchase the system. You’re stuck to it!