A Recruitment Marketing Refresh Is Happening for a Giant of Corporate America

The 180-year-old Fortune 36 company Procter & Gamble, famous for brands like Crest, Charmin, Dawn, and Downy, is revamping its career site and its whole recruitment marketing and messaging to candidates.

Scott Read, associate director, global talent supply at Procter & Gamble, is one of many key players on the relaunch, along with Charlotte Field, senior manager, and a whole team of people from branding and other departments worldwide. Toward the end of 2016, they, and P&G in general, knew it was time to change the company’s online presence and mobile process for hiring. “We’ve got to do something to improve our candidate experience,” Read thought.

That experience involved not one career site but 39 global — actually local, you could say — career sites, spread around the world for the approximately 82 countries where P&G has operations.

Moving now into early 2017, P&G put out an RFP to replace those sites with one, and to also finally set up a talent community for recruitment marketing. It’d been working with TMP for about nine years, and ended up selecting TMP for this work too, along with a technology called “TalentBrew” used by companies such as Nike and Eli Lilly.

The P&G career site is now live, featuring employee stories, job maps, job alerts, a responsive design for mobile devices, 100+ pages, and content unique to the country you’re dialing in from. If you come once from Germany, the next time you’re back, you’ll see pages tagged for German content. The site includes content from 40 countries around the globe, with P&G most focused on the top 12 markets doing 80 percent of its business. Read says it’s still sorting out what he calls its “language strategy” — what to do with all the jobs and content in so many languages in so many countries. That, he says, is a “big, expensive, complex project.”

There are really two big things P&G’s trying to do with the new site and the new communications in general.

One is grab the attention of college graduates, early in their careers. That’s why you see all the “day 1” stuff on the site.

The second is develop the talent community mentioned above, which for now is more focused on experienced people, with special pipelines for schools and diversity coming later.

I told Read that it seemed that most companies capturing people in a talent community aren’t totally sure what to email to community members, and don’t end up communicating with them a whole lot. And, I said, recruiters may even forgo sourcing from the communities, even though oddly enough the whole purpose of the community is to have a ripe group of people interested in working at the companies whose communities they’ve joined.

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“We’re going to try our darndest to keep that from happening,” he says. “Our intent is to cultivate these folks.” He’s hoping recruiters build relationships with different groups of people, send quarterly newsletters to them, and “actively manage these communities of people so we don’t let it die on the vine.”

Many of these new Procter & Gamble employees will be at the headquarters, in what Winston Churchill called America’s “most beautiful inland city.” About that, says Read, “Cincinnati is a challenge for us. A lot of folks want to be on the coast.” Experienced people, he says, are tough to lure away from what they’re used to, and college students have on their minds cities like Austin, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. (In China, things are actually a little similar, where the P&G-headquartered city of Guangzhou can be a tougher sell than Bejing and Shanghai).

Anyhow, Churchill was on to something. The quality of life in Cincinnati — home of the famous Skyline chili, the Graeter’s Ice Cream, the professional sports teams that are unusual for a mid-sized city, the prettiness, and perhaps most of all the affordability — does help, and Procter & Gamble achieves less than 10 percent turnover. “When we get them here,” says Read, “they usually don’t want to leave.”