Opening a New Box of Understanding to Put You on the Path to Recruitment Nirvana
Wrapping your mind around the complexities of today’s recruitment marketing landscape can be frustrating, and maybe a little bit crazy, right?
Over the past couple of years, the industry has pushed talent acquisition to invest in a variety of different technologies and solutions to address a wide spectrum of market needs. Unfortunately, this has made a casualty out of candidates by creating an experience that is difficult to understand, and even more difficult to navigate, and best, and futile at worst.
The disconnect between intent and outcome continues to impact practices and processes that is not ideal for effective talent acquisition. Is posting to an online job board enough to attract talent (probably not)? Perhaps the company's career website lacks engagement, personalization and demands too much information from the candidates? Are talent leaders leveraging important lessons learned from the candidate experience into their social channels and presence? Without a clear picture of what today's candidate is thinking, it can be difficult to determine where to invest time and effort to attract the best talent pool.
This state of the unknown in some ways is expected—trends are in a constant state of flux and change can be difficult—but can easily remedied. Talent leaders simply need the right plans, the right blueprint to steer them in the right direction. Our latest eBook, Winning the Talent Game by Tapping Into Today’s Candidate Mindset, explores the monumental trends that impact Today’s Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Marketing in granularity and explains how such factors will affect recruiting and hiring strategies in 2017 and beyond.
This post will discuss the first two trends of six outlined in our Winning the Talent Game by Tapping Into Today’s Candidate Mindset Blog Series. Let’s dive in and uncover why a unified strategy and an omni-channel approach are necessities to get in the know now about today’s recruitment marketing trends.
Total Talent Lifecycle
Twenty-five years ago, the job application and hiring process was much simpler: Candidates applied for a job they saw in a want ad or heard about via word of mouth, might have been called in for an interview, and were either hired or not hired. That was it. Then, the Internet happened. So did email and job boards and social media. Mobile devices proliferated. All these factors combined with the shift in demographics to turn the basic hiring process upside down. Candidates today don’t just apply and are hired; they are part of a total talent lifecycle in which every integrated element and every engagement of the process affects and drives every other element and engagement.
Today’s recruitment marketing professionals must think about the entire candidate lifecycle—from first seeing a job posting or experiencing the employer brand to onboarding and employee engagement—and build a process that reaches, engages, converts, and tracks candidates at each step. Here’s a look at steps in a typical recruitment marketing lifecycle:
- Source: Paid media and organic channels where candidates learn about openings and your brand >
- Nurture: Personal conversations, personalized content marketing, email marketing and chat tailored to each individual candidate >
- Engage: The application, interviewing, hiring, onboarding and post-hire stages of the process, facilitated by applicant tracking system, candidate relationship management, employee engagement and employee advocacy solutions >
- Analyze: Analytics and decision-making insight tools that measure success and provide a blueprint for further recruitment marketing strategies >
The process has a distinct rhythm, and builds upon itself in its circularity. The more the process circulates, the smarter and more targeted you can become thanks to analytics that help to optimize current activities and shape future strategies. Moreover, satisfied new employees become engaged, productive employees who ideally become advocates for your company, spreading the word about openings and what a great place your company is. Candidates see that messaging and become interested, thus setting in motion the process again and again and again.
This might seem like many moving parts to track, but the best recruiting solutions use technology as the hub of integration—creating a cohesive solution and process to ensure every part works together. Every micro-engagement a candidate has with your company is recorded and applied to the recruitment marketing lifecycle—integrated into the technology at every stage. These solutions are the present and the future of recruitment marketing. With the entire process so interconnected, trying to track each element separately becomes too difficult. The best platforms eliminate the need to sort it all out and instead allow you to chart a unified strategy from the start of the talent acquisition process to the finish.
The Omni-Channel—The Only Channel
Recruitment marketing is increasingly taking a page from consumer marketing in that they are thinking not only about who their ideal candidates are, but also where they are. Think about it from the consumer standpoint and how, for example, your favorite soda is marketed to you today. You see advertising for it across multiple media. Perhaps you like its Facebook page or subscribe to its Twitter feed. A bottle cap encourages you to visit the brand’s website, where you enter some basic information to receive emails on special promotions. You see marketing materials in a store informing you of sales and limited-time flavors.
The evolution of consumer marketing is impressive, aided in large part by increasingly sophisticated technology and a shift to data-driven decision making. A few decades ago, most sodas were just advertised, but as marketing, technology, and consumer habits changed, the omni-channel emerged. This omni-channel approach can be applied to talent acquisition just as easily as it is to soda.
The omni-channel not only finds candidates where they are most likely to be active, but also anticipates where they will go to next, incorporating a blend of predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). A candidate may subscribe to your Facebook page but may also frequent Twitter, so allowing her to share your content from one site to another casts an comprehensive social net. When thinking about integrating your brand across multiple channels, it becomes important to address the distinct behaviors candidates exhibit within each one of these environments and plan your content delivery accordingly. Facebook, for example, is a platform for friends and family to share topics related company culture, philanthropy and events, while LinkedIn is for more professional development and education where content such as eBooks and client case studies would be most appropriate. You can’t simply choose one environment and hope it’s the right one. The reality is that most people today use a multitude of sites and networks, which means companies that want to reach and attract desirable candidates need to have a detailed candidate profile and create relevant and targeted interactions that will prompt action.
How you market to candidates on your own website is just as important as the channels you employ outside the company. Microsites, landing pages, and targeted emails are important avenues to reach candidates. Chat functionality allows visitors to talk with someone live when they visit your organization’s career website. The concept of micro-engagements comes into play here as well—touchpoints with your company and brand that drive both the candidate and the recruiter through the hiring process. Technology is intertwined with personalization, and the result is a candidate who feels important because recruiters are actively engaging with him or her every step of the way.