Jonathan Blain

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Innovation at The Leading Edge of Talent Acquisition

Posted by on in Job Hunting and Careers
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People are literally the life blood of every organisation; they are the organisations greatest assets. The best organisations, need to secure the best talent, period; but achieving that, is not always easy, even for the best employers.

In the Sunday Times newspaper, on 18/01/2016, it was reported that top employers were left with more than 1,000 vacancies last year, as they were “gazumped” by students who accepted a job, but then took a better offer.

The simple truth is, that often the best talent doesn’t even apply to organisations, who need them, that is why Head Hunters are able to make a living. Organisations can easily advertise vacancies on the plethora of internet job boards and usually attract many candidates, but the best candidates are often elusive, and hard to find.

Talent acquisition is in the HR professional domain, highly trained and skilled talent acquisition professionals, are masters at selection, and sorting the wheat from the chaff, but the truth is that they are often not the best salesman, and organisations need to sell themselves, to not only attract, but also to secure the best talent.

Recruitment is more like a marriage of two equal partners, than it is a traditional supplier and customer relationship, despite the fact, that it is employers buying the services of employees. Whilst employers expect candidates to be able to sell themselves, employers also need to be able to sell themselves to candidates. Whilst some employers truly believe all the power lies with them, they have to be careful not to be blinded by their arrogance and feelings of self-importance.

Because talent acquisition professionals typically come from a professional HR backgrounds, they tend to be more proficient at selecting the best candidates, and setting up the best recruitment processes, than they are at selling the organisation. It could be argued, that included in the talent acquisition team, should be star sales people, who are able to sell the organisation in the best way, to not just attract the best talent, but actually to succeed in having them join the organisation. 

By the time a candidate has applied for a job, there is a strong argument that says, they don’t need to be sold to, but the story of young graduates, being offered jobs, accepting them, and then gazumping the employers, because they get better offers elsewhere, demonstrates that organisations, still need to be able to sell themselves to employees. Contrary to what some people think, it isn’t all about money; it is actually about many different factors, like: prospects, culture, values, development opportunities, working environment, friendliness, location etc.

What is actually needed, is not just “Sales”, but “Sales and Marketing”, in fact, what is most important, is arguably marketing. The truth is, that the best marketers are usually working in the marketing department, marketing organisations products and services, not in the HR department.

The role of marketing is to create demand and desire; the best marketing offers the potential to realise the ultimate goal, which is to make selling irrelevant, because customers or candidates / potential employees in this case, have decided they want to buy. Apple for example have become masters at marketing. I imagine that very few people entering an Apple store, need to be sold an Apple product, they already decided they were going to do that before coming in, all that most of them want, is help to buy.

I suspect that most organisations, invest considerably more effort in working out job descriptions, competency frameworks and recruitment processes, than they do in deeply understanding the career desires and aspirations of the best candidates, and how they can market and sell the benefit that the organisation offers to the candidates. The problem is, that many talent acquisition professionals, think it is predominantly about compensation and benefits, and whilst that is undoubtedly an important factor, it is often not the ultimate defining factor. In their ground-breaking report “Employee Engagement,” Dilys Robinson and Sue Hayday suggest that: “employees are motivated by intrinsic factors like personal growth, working for a common purpose, and being part of a larger process, rather than simply focusing on extrinsic factors such as pay and benefits”.

My name is Jonathan Blain, I am a pioneer, an innovator, and a thought leader, with a lot of experience in employment, recruitment, job hunting and talent acquisition. I am a bestselling non-fiction author of 12 books / $3.8m+ sales, and my work has been endorsed by many top leaders, including nine heads of household name, UK Top 1000 companies, the Director General of the Institute of Directors, and the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. I often speak about career topics on the BBC. I am most comfortable at the leading edge of progress, human endeavour and enterprise.

I’ve developed a ground breaking new solution, called “Blended Talent Acquisition Marketing™”, that is a combination of two different concepts:

  1. Employees as Brand Ambassadors
  2. Corporate Storytelling

Story telling is the antithesis to the standard corporate brochure, and is usually considerably more effective. Just think of the best communicators; they use stories to connect with us, whether it is parables in the bible, inspiring teachers at school, top motivational speakers or the most effective leaders.

In a Forbes article on leadership it was stated:

“Many companies focus all their branding efforts on marketing activities such as advertising campaigns and packaging, yet one of the most powerful brand assets your company has is your people. Regardless of which industry you’re in, building a strong brand requires that all employees feel connected to the corporate brand and understand their role in turning brand aspirations into reality. If you’re not inspiring your talent to be brand ambassadors, you’re missing out. According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.” When a customer interacts with one of your frontline employees, or with the work produced by your behind-the-scenes employees, everything your PR and marketing departments have done will be put to the test”.

The best people to sell an organisation to prospective employees, isn’t the HR department, or even the Marketing Departments, it is the organisation’s own employees.

The problem is that they are typically:

  1. Very busy doing their own jobs.
  2. Find it difficult to articulate, and take what they know and believe, and translate it into sales and marketing.

The Solution To This Problem and The Opportunity is: “Blended – Talent Acquisition Marketing™

Blended Talent Acquisition Marketing™, was invented by Jonathan Blain to meet the needs of organisations, who wish to be ahead of the game in talent acquisition; it is designed to provide organisations with an edge, and advantage, in the fiercely competitive world of talent acquisition for the very best staff.

I bring my expertise to interview employees, making the process quick and as easy as possible, recording the interview on video like on a TV programme, utilising camera crew used to working on Sky News, and then edit the interview into powerful videos, and write the existing employees stories, typesetting them, adding powerful images, and publishing them in papers and short books, website articles, and also distributing and promoting them on social media and in the press, and to careers offices and careers libraries, and to be used in career training courses. The content can also be used internally, and on company websites.

If you are interested, contact me: Jonathan Blain jonathan@jonathanblain.comTel: + (44)787 33 33 0 33 (available worldwide)


Jonathan Blain is a Bestselling Author (12 Books/$3.8m+ sales, on Business/Entrepreneurship, Selling, Technology, Careers & Personal Development), Thought Leader, Speaker, Problem Solver, Change Maker and Improvement Specialist. A versatile Interim / Consultant / Business Leader / NED (Ex Royal Navy Officer, CEO of Quoted Plc + MD of FTSE 100 Subsidiary & Entrepreneur).

In everything that he does, he looks to make a difference, challenge the status quo, push for progress, make things better, create & exploit opportunities, & achieve extraordinary things.

Catalyst & driver of change, transforms the future; open to new ideas, at vanguard / leading edge of progress, human endeavour & enterprise; an innovator, pioneer & visionary, offering: Inspiring New Thinking, Ideas, Solutions, & Paradigms, helping people / organisations:

1. Achieve Better Careers
2. Live better lives
3. Run better & more successful businesses & organisations
4. Make the world a better place

Hits ground running, making an almost immediate impact; intuitively understands people & situations; quickly & accurately sizing up situations. Gains intuitive perceptions, applies rational, logical & insightful thinking, joins dots, creating vision, strategies & solutions, translating them into plans, action & results. 

Enjoys working on complex problems; unceasing in his pursuit of wisdom. Inventive & independent, can be extremely perceptive of the potential contained in the views of others. He finds problems stimulating, & is ingenious in tackling complex situations. Inspires & encourages others, exhibiting excellent interpersonal skills. Has imagination & foresight to see possibilities; open minded, curious & observant; has excellent long range vision. Talented at making things happen & driving everything; enjoys projects where he can bring out improvements, his original thinking generates a constant stream of ideas. Has high standards, infectious enthusiasm, positivity & vitality. A Real Game Changer!


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Guest Monday, 24 September 2018