A Lesson in Recruitment Messaging from the band Galactic

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling down to New Orleans for this year’s Jazz Fest.  It was my first time down on the Bayou and it exceeded even my loftiest expectations.  The people were friendly and food was excellent but most importantly the music was downright incredible.  The best of which was a concert I saw at the famous Tipitinas by a band named Galactic (which was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to.)  I’ve become a big fan of this band over the past last few months and I’d like to share their story as well as some insights we can learn from them on discovering the true value you provide.

The Galactic Story

Formed in 1994 by a pair of childhood friends, Jeff Raines and Robert Mecurio from Washington, DC, the Jazz Funk Band fell in love with the New Orleans music scene after attending college in Louisiana.  After hooking up with drummer Stanton Moore, saxophonist Ben Ellman and organist Rich Vogel, they became main-stays in the New Orleans music scene.  However, in 2004, they reached a crossroads. Both the band and their singer decided to part ways.

So the question was “do they try and find another singer?”

To this problem, they thought about their true value as a band.  What do they provide that is extraordinary and unique to what’s out there?  What do they want to be known for?  After deliberation over a few weeks, they determined their value.  They were the “rhythm section” for other front-men.  While they were a jam funk band first and foremost, they proactively went to other bands, singers and performers with this message and recruited them to play with the band.

This has led them to playing with The Meters, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Neville Brothers and Corey Glover.  Best of all, it’s forced them broaden their music from jazz, rap, R&B and funk and experiment with their sound.  Their latest album reached as high as 3 on the Jazz Billboard Charts with their latest album Carnivale Electicos and continue to play great live shows with a wide range of guest stars.

What we can learn from Galactic for recruiting

So how does this tie back to recruiting?  The Galactic story is all about determining the value of what you provide in the marketplace and there are some lessons to be learned from this New Orleans jazz funk band.

Here are 2 major takeaways to help you create and improve your recruitment messaging:

Understanding your True Value: First and foremost, before you create recruitment messaging you need to sit down and determine first the value that your company provides in the marketplace (ask marketing on this one) and second, the value that differentiates you from other employers.  You may not be the “rhythm section” for other performers but there is definitely something special about your organization that you should be consistently communicating to candidates in your recruitment messaging.

Continually evolve: As Galactic plays with different performers with different music styles and tastes, they continually look to evolve and differentiate their sound.  Your recruitment messaging should be no different.  In order to find the right core benefits and differentiators that truly resonate with candidates you need to try and measure different messaging.  Use recruitment metrics to determine what messaging works in driving the right candidates to apply to your organization and how it’s affects overall applicant flow.  Once you figure out the metrics, good messaging should be replicated and honed with bad messaging being shelved.

When you are writing your recruitment marketing messaging it’s important to ensure that you understand what the true value you provide to employees is.  Without this, it makes it that much harder to communicate why you are different from all the other opportunities out there.  Finding your true value is not an exact science and will continue to evolve as your company does.  Make sure to continuously measure and test the content you produce and determine what messaging is the most compelling to candidates (and this may change for different candidate populations.)  It is this content that you should try to replicate in your job ads and on your Career Site to drive better results from all your recruitment campaigns.

Take a lesson from Galactic and zero in on the value you provide to the marketplace and make sure to continuously communicate it.


For more insights on recruitment marketing, check in daily to this blog and follow us on Twitter @smashfly.

Views: 176

Comment by Tim Spagnola on May 17, 2012 at 2:24pm

Great post Chris. My Wife and I were lucky to see Galactic in Tipitinas as well. One of the best nights we had on our trip to New Orleans. So I can relate very much to this post.


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