The Art of Strategy: The Complicated Made Simple

February 15

By Ellis Pines, Director of Client Strategy, TMP Worldwide, Washington, DC

"Strategic planning" can come across as a complex endeavor, accessible to a few. But we all deal with strategies every day. The question is: how can we refine our strategic thinking, apply it to our projects and make our clients successful?

As a "professional strategist," I realized the universality of strategy when I read an article about a successful urban planner with disabilities. Confined to a wheelchair, she had learned how to "plan her next move." In navigating new territory, she carefully plotted out how she would maneuver. Her physical challenge had strengthened her strategic planning muscles and helped her develop plans for urban growth.

Strategy is the art of setting goals and doing the right thing to attain them. Tactics is doing things right. It involves bringing order to the complex situations of real life, making sure that time and resources are well spent. To refine your recruitment communications strategy, it can be helpful to think through a process:

  • Goal: What's your over-arching objective? (i.e., who and how many do you need to hire?)
  • Target audience: Who and where are your job candidates? What are their qualifications? What other considerations, such as diversity, are important?
  • Awareness: Do they know who you are and the kind of work you do?
  • Image: What is your reputation?
  • Communications Objective: What do you want them to think and do?
  • Competition: What are their alternatives to your offer?
  • Message: What kind of offer can you (uniquely) make to get them to act?
  • Tactics: Which media and tools do you use to convey the message?
  • Measurement: Did your results align with your objectives? Did you attract the right people for the right job?

Taking time for strategic thinking can help you cut through complexities, sharpening your aim and getting results. And you can always call on TMP to help you bring order to the chaos.

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