Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Making the case to the CEO

An interesting email arrived today from an old acquaintance:

Hi Andrew,

We're putting together a presentation for a major multinational to convince its chief executive that he needs to invest more in the website. From the point of view of recruitment/HR, what in your opinion would be the 'killer' argument / fact/ example to put before the king?

Is there a killer argument? I am not so sure but here goes:

Thanks for the email.

Before you can convince the CEO to invest more in the HR and recruitment parts of his internet site you should be confident that they believe that they should be communicating to all stakeholders more effectively. Employees and job candidates are one very large group. The internet is one channel.

Each stakeholder group needs to look at company information in a different way. Let's think about the CEO announcing they are opening a new factory, then the shareholders will want to know predicted returns, the customers how this will cut the waiting list for the products, suppliers how this will change their supply chains and candidates if this creates new opportunities. Each stakeholder group needs the information with a different emphasis.

You can get an understanding of the size of these groups by looking at where people go on the existing site. Of course this will give you an understanding of the size of the group, not the importance of it.

Research that we've done shows that there is considerable overlap between the stakeholder groups with customers also likely to consider employment with the firm. Therefore giving candidates a great experience could aid building stronger customer-loyalty.

Recent reports show that online is the largest channel for recruitment communications and advertising (even if the CEO still expects to get his next role from a call from one of the big search firms). It can be effective, efficient and timely. It is a channel in which it is possible to build loyalty with a large number of individuals.

The great news for the CEO is that the HR / recruitment part of corporate websites is one of the most neglected. If they move quickly and with intent it will be possible to build something which competes aggressively with their competitors for the best talent, and to take a leadership position in this market.

It is not necessarily the investment that you need to get, it's their commitment and energy. A good start would be to take one of their brightest marketeers and get them to focus on this stakeholder group, building content and improving the experience. If they create a user-focused site candidates will tell their friends.

I hope that helps


What do you think? Add a comment and we'll use the best.


Shel Holtz posted a follow-up to this on his blog.