Mike Dwyer is a man of many talents. HR leader, improv comedian, and entrepreneur, Mike is known throughout Chicago for his charisma, community engagement and innovative methods. As the Director of Talent Experience for Cars.com, Mike leads a team helping one of Chicago’s proudest brands attract top talent. I had the pleasure of chatting with Mike by phone about employment branding, the evolution of tech recruiting, and how to best find and hire the best people.
Mike’s experience is vast and varied. He spent the early part of his career in staffing, but has worn many hats before and since — including salesperson, marketer, and entrepreneur. These experiences have afforded him a unique perspective on talent acquisition. “Recruiters need to know they are selling something. You are selling an opportunity, your brand, and a culture.” One of the most important things recruiters can do is personalize every interaction with every candidate. Mike’s words ring true in my own experience at Hired, as we’ve found that companies who use personalized messaging when reaching out to candidates are 25% more likely to receive a response.
In today’s world, one of the biggest challenges talent acquisition professionals face is cutting through the noise barraging job seekers. While there are many ways to connect directly and powerfully with candidates, Mike has found that the best differentiator is an effective employer social media strategy. “When word of mouth marketing erupted, many companies were fundamentally against social media,” Mike explains. “Suddenly, consumers were using the web to talk about products and services and taking control of the message away from the brands. Oftentimes, recruiters want to control the message that goes out to prospective candidates, but the reality is that the company’s employees have the voice of the people and are the real story.”