GE Doesn’t Need TV Commercials, It Needs a Visionary

Joel Cheesman

GE Jobs

Blame it on Steve Jobs.

Have you seen the latest recruitment TV commercials by mega-company GE? (Don’t call ’em General Electric.)

Now, I’m not here to hate on the commercials, or even the strategy to use traditional channels to market job opportunities and change candidate attitudes. Attracting top engineering talent is no easy task. I even applaud the effort. I’m even confident it’ll attract a good number of engineers. The best engineers? That’s debatable.

The company, however, would fare much better if it had a visionary leader that connected with the digerati they desire to desperately. Do you know the CEO of GE? Me neither. CFO? Nope. Founder? Nah. Do they have a developer conference like Facebook’s F8? No clue.

The Cult of Personality, similar to the one Apple’s Steve Jobs oozed, is now a 24/7 offering. And we all – including job candidates and employees alike – have an insatiable appetite.

So it’s no surprise Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey was remade the company’s CEO this week after years of floundering and a nosediving stock price. The company has been bleeding talent for months, and Dorsey’s greatest value may be his ability to come back and boomerang former employees and inspire new ones to come on board.

Why? Because Dorsey is a visionary. The list of successful companies with such men and women is long. Larry Page. Mark Zuckerberg. Aaron Levie. Jeff Bezos. Marissa Mayer. Howard Schultz. Elon Musk. Sheryl Sandberg. And on and on.

Top talent wants to work for such visionary leadership. People want to be led. People want to be inspired. People want to work with the best. And they want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Employers with visionaries keep their employees. They attract new ones. Any old and crusty company looking to improve its recruitment efforts should take note. And if they can’t make them CEO, find some other way to bring them to the table. Snapchat making former Apple executive Scott Forstall an advisor is one such strategy.

Hey, maybe Forstall should be GE’s new CTO. Now that’s a recruitment strategy.

Joel Cheesman
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Joel Cheesman

Director of Strategic Alliances at EmployeeScreenIQ
Joel has over 15 years of experience in the employment industry. He began his career with local and global online job sites such as JobOptions, CareerBoard and Jobing.com, which acquired his online marketing business in 2009. Joel published an award-winning industry blog from 2005-09. He has been featured in well-recognized magazines like Fast Company, US News and World Report and BusinessWeek. He continues to speak at industry events, covering topics from search marketing, social media outreach strategies, and mobile recruitment.
Joel Cheesman
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