Our firms don’t sell widgets or consumer goods. What makes your A/E/C firm different than your competitors is your firm’s people, their specialized expertise, and previous experience. It is important for us as marketers, to make sure we capture all this information to highlight in our proposals and marketing materials. Often times, this starts with managing resumes.
But, if your firm doesn’t already have a system to gather and maintain your resume information, where do you begin? It can be an overwhelming task for anyone. Resume often require a lot of information. People these days are also too busy on their billable work to pay respond, unless a major proposal deadline is pending.
You’re a marketing professional so you want to be proactive. You want to have all your firm’s (department’s or office’s) master resumes updated so anyone can grab at a moment’s notice. But you are working on your own proposal and presentation deadlines. How can you start managing resumes?
There are few good moments in time to capture your firm’s personnel expertise – when they are newly hired for your firm and on an on-going basis like once a year.
In this article, I share my approach to using some systems that are already in place and working with your HR partner to share some of the
Capturing New Hire Information
A good place to start collecting employee resume information is when a new person starts at your firm. First, they are typically excited to be joining your firm. Second, most of the time they aren’t thrown into the fire of billable work, yet.
There is also an opportunity to work with your HR department to utilize some of their new hire onboarding and paperwork gathering. Typically, HR is having them fill out an application, asking for a resume, and may even ask them for copies of their licenses. Ask your HR department what they do with this information. Are they filing it somewhere? How can you use HR’s already existing data collection tools? What can forms/questions can you add to the onboarding process to help you manage
Information examples you can collect during the new hire phase can include:
- Previous projects (with years completed)
- Licenses (with expiration dates)
- Awards/Special Achievements
- Special skills/expertise
For some key or strategic new hires, you may even want to schedule a marketing onboarding session. This way you can you introduce the new hire to the marketing department and process as well as collect the information you need.
Case Study: Managing Resumes for New Hires at an A/E Firm
We were hiring non-stop at my previous firm. Sometimes we would have 8 to 10 new hires a month. Many of the new hires were used in proposals right away. Because of this, we worked with HR to develop a system of capturing resume information. It included three phases that I highlighted below.
Prior to Start Date:
- HR informs marketing there is a new hire starting. HR already sent an email to the Operations and IT team letting them know who was starting, start date, their position, office location, etc. We asked to be included in that email.
- Marketing then prepares the new hire materials. At this time, the materials included a welcome letter from marketing and a new hire experience worksheet (both provided below).
- If the new hire was a Senior Project Manager or key designer, I would schedule a marketing onboarding session by coordinating with HR.
On the Start Date:
- HR would send the resume provided by the new hire to marketing.
- Marketing would provide welcome letter and new hire experience worksheet to new hire.
- The headshot and marketing onboarding session would be scheduled, if not previously completed.
After the Start Date (typically within first two weeks):
- The new hire experience worksheet, resume, and any contacts are collected from the new hire.
- Marketing then updates the database (Deltek Vision) with the new hire information.
- The headshot is taken and added to the database (Open Asset).
New Hire Marketing Materials
We developed and distributed a new hire welcome letter to each new hire. I adapted a memo that I used several firms ago. The new hire welcome letter explains what marketing needs from them, who to go to, etc.
The second sheet is the Team Member Experience Worksheet. We created this to be able to quickly capture specific experience and project type. We had many specialized skillsets that we needed to find and use in proposals. We developed this checklist with input from our discipline and market sector directors. Then we created a custom tab in our database (Deltek Vision) and populated for each new hire. This enabled us to quickly expertise like pump station design, clean room design, or cast-in place concrete design experience as it related to our employees.
How do you collect new hire information for use in proposals? I would love to hear other best practices. Share yours in the comments below.
Also, if you have any questions about managing resumes for new hires, please comment below as well. I will answer them or find the answers for you.