Transform your talent acquisition process with these marketing-inspired strategies.
By Debbie Bolla
Over the last few years, the job-seeking behaviors of candidates have changed drastically, driven by an increased availability of information on potential employers through online networks and social media channels. CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior report finds that today’s job seekers leverage 17 different resources during their job search, including company websites, personal networks, job boards, social media networks like LinkedIn, and employer review sites like Glassdoor. With the power of information in the hands of candidates, organizations need to get out in front of top talent and perhaps rethink their recruiting strategy. In fact, according to 42 percent of respondents to a LinkedIn Talent Solutions survey, the second most significant trend shaping the recruiting industry is recruiting becoming more like marketing.
“The digital revolution has required recruiters to take on more of a marketing focus,” says Kristen Wright, global marketing senior vice president for Cielo. “With mobile and social media becoming more engrained in individuals’ everyday lives, candidates can formulate their opinion of an employer even before the first connection is made. As a result, RPO partners must put emphasis on building a positive employer brand for clients across multiple channels in order to draw candidates in and leverage technology to generate demand, nurture candidates, and understand their digital behavior.”
An employer brand gives candidates insight into what it is like to work for a company. Marketing a well- communicated strategy -via a company website, social media channels, and online networks -puts an organization in a better position to attract and engage a high level of talent. Today’s savvy candidates seek information about organizational culture so companies need to ensure they deliver what job seekers need.
“An RPO takes the opportunity to help clients understand and develop their employer brand, their employer value proposition (EVP), and to translate that strategy into building effective recruitment marketing campaigns,” says Carrie Corbin, director of employer brand for Randstad Sourceright. “Train all recruiters on the client’s brand to ensure they are able to effectively articulate the true culture of a company to not only attract talent, but also to help job seekers self-select out if a culture may not be a fit for what they are looking for. Good recruiting, marketing, and branding are more about quality and fit than it is about attracting a high volume of candidates.”
How should candidates experience employer brand? In three ways, says Ilana Como, brand and marketing manager for Alexander Mann Solutions: through a company website, its social strategy, and content. “Brand should be driven throughout the entire candidate experience,” she explains.
And as the talent market has shifted, the candidate experience is now more important than ever. Today’s job seekers have the tendency to share their experiences – both bad and good -to their networks. CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior report finds that 28 percent of candidates with poor experiences told up to two people, and 24 percent told between five and nine people.
And it gets worse for consumer companies. The survey measured the amount of candidates who were less likely to buy and engage with the company as a consumer: 65 percent said they were less likely if they didn’t hear back from the organization, and that number rose to 69 percent if candidates had a bad experience during the interview process.
Another marketing-inspired strategy for improving the candidate experience is leveraging current employees as brand ambassadors and advocates. “Current employees who are willing to recommend their organization to others are critical to building a strong brand reputation,” says Wright. “Organizations can activate employee advocates on social media and across their personal networks to share their positive work experiences and career stories as part of their talent attraction strategy.”
A well-built employee referral program is another option. A 2014 CareerXRoads survey named referrals as the top source of hire for companies. Due to their nature, referrals encourage employees to spread the good word about your organization to their personal and professional networks, says Corbin. “Keeping that in mind, providing employees with information about jobs and working at the company enables them to share the information. It is an easy and authentic way to amplify your employer brand, but also one of the most cost- effective and easiest programs to implement,” she says. “Referrals provide quality hires at a lower cost, reduce time to fill, and are a natural way to encourage employee advocacy.”
But as with any strategy, it’s only effective if it’s measured. “From collecting and analyzing data to building out robust action plans, RPOs provide strategic insight to the best methods of content delivery and recruitment campaign performance,” says Wright.
Market Job Opportunities to Employees to Land Referrals
Employee referral programs are a solid path to quality new hires -but only if done correctly. Carrie Corbin, director of employer brand for Randstad Sourceright, says, “When building a program, companies want to focus on what’s important to their employees. Do some discovery around why they enjoy working for the company and then showcase those things when building communications, launch plans, and campaigns.”
Some best practices:
Encourage participation. People naturally love to help, but incentives go a long way. Employees are more likely to be involved when they are recognized for it.
Educate. For employees that don’t sit in the department where the job opportunity resides, provide informative details about the position. This helps them consider referring people in their networks for roles that may not be in their own field.
Solicit testimonials. Having employees share what they love about their jobs is a creative and effective way to promote culture. Thirty-second testimonial videos can be used on career websites and distributed on social media. This is also a great way to give employees recognition and visibility. A win-win.