5 Questions For Your 2012 Talent Acquisition Strategy

As posted on SocialRecruitingReport.com:



There are a multitude of channels available for recruiters as we enter 2012. While this shows progress for the industry it can also cause confusion, inefficiency, and a tendency to rely on the wrong sources to find talent.

It should be clear in 2012 that even the most intricate technology cannot replace the personal nature of recruiting. The process of identifying the right job for someone is personal. The triggers to get a candidate interested are hard to know for sure without looking them in the eye and exchanging straight dialogue.



HOWEVER, there are specific things recruiters can do to put themselves in a position to have more of those in-person conversations. Therefore, giving you a better opportunity at hiring the top talent you seek.

To cast a wider net in 2012, start by answering these 5 questions:


1. How Do You Attract Internal Referrals?

Most companies do two things to ramp up their referral strategy: a) offer a cash bonus, and b) place Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter tabs in a social bar for each job description.

Some services such as Jobvite attempt to automate the ability to share your company's jobs across all of your employee's social channels. I was interested in the automated aspect, and asked top Recruiting Manager Ryan Newman of San Francisco-based SAY Media what the response is from his internal employees about sharing. He told me that they typically see 10% of their staff sharing new openings through Jobvite on a weekly basis.

Ryan told me that most everyone in the company indicates that they are willing to share and do their part to grow the organization. One reason I suspect people hesitate to follow through is because of the impact sharing has on their personal networks. Ask yourself, how often would you want to share a message like this with your friends and connections?




The likely answer is that you would not want to share this very often either. Sharing something like this can be perceived as spam, and should not be considered an effective social strategy. You must create engaging content that people will WANT to share and show all of their friends and colleagues through social channels.

See below for more on engaging content...


2. What Does Your Careers Page Look Like?

You must look at your page through the candidate's perspective and assume they know nothing about you or your organization. Once you gather that mindset, start to think about what candidates experience when they visit your careers page.

Top candidates have told me in the last 6 months that they want to see the people, culture, and business model of the company. As you can see on Inkling's careers page below, they get the fact that you need engaging content to attract candidates. Make your careers page a destination!




 If you're familiar with the Google Page Ranking system, then you should use it to your advantage. Go to Firefox, and download the SEOToolbar. It is a browser extension for Firefox that makes it simple to see the Page Rank for each website and page you visit.

Take a look at your careers page and those of your competition to see who has the better page rank. As an example, our friends at Inkling in the photo above have a careers page Page Rank of 5. That's a good start, and lends itself to more visitors to your careers page on a proactive basis.

While I'm not proposing you need to be an SEO expert, you can certainly benefit from some basic information about your careers page. You can get this information through Google Analytics, or consult with your webmaster. You should be paying close attention to engagement on your careers page, specifically:

  • What are the top referral sources to your careers page?
  • How much time are people spending on your careers page?
  • Where do people go when they exit your careers page?

3. What Is Your Social Strategy?

The social strategy for most companies is composed of 2 tiers: individual employees and company profiles. Meaning, a company will typically manage its own Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter pages while asking individual employees to contribute through their personal pages as well. A good example of this can be seen below. Zaarly is a super-hot company based in San Francisco. They are positioned to become the next eBay, recently added Meg Whitman to their board, have a cool new office, and are led by the visionary Bo Fishback.




 You can see that the iOS Developer for Zaarly has the Facebook Like button on the job description. You can also see that it has been liked zero times. This is kind of like showing up to a party and there is no one there.

What do candidates think when they visit the page and see zero likes? Why are more people not liking this job on Facebook in the first place?

My opinion is that Zaarly has an awesome opportunity to show the things that are cool about their company. Their jobs page currently has a page rank of 0, and is ripe for an upgrade in content to engage candidates. They've got the people, business, and the story. Now they just need to show it, and candidates will show up to see it.

You cannot simply put a social bar on any job description or page and hope that people like it. Even the coolest opportunities like Zaarly may not show through. Your social strategy should definitely include sharing, but give people something awesome to share.

4. Where Do You Advertise Your Company?

So, we have already established that you HAVE to have awesome content that is capable of engaging your audience. The truth is that recruiting in 2012 should be approached like marketing. Instead of marketing a product or service, you are marketing your company as a fitting place to work.

There are lots of services charging you to discover and advertise to new candidates. Many of the services are built on the premise of finding hidden connections or new people to source. While you always want to find new sources for candidates, you probably should be exploring things you can do to attract people you may already know as well.

One of the best examples I have seen of advertising where your audience hangs out comes from Votizen's careers page on Github. One look at their page on GitHub, and you will clearly see that they get it.

The point is...before going out to find and pitch new prospective candidates, ask yourself what they will see about your organization when they inevitably look online.



5. How Do You Measure Your Progress?

The obvious answer is filling jobs, right? Of course it is. The thing that needs a fresh look is how you get to the point of a hire. Over the last decade, recruiting has seen the emergence of measurements such as cost per hire. While this is a fiscally responsible measurement, many employers I talk to care more about getting an A-player than they do how much it costs. Thus, it is a good number to track but does not indicate the quality of candidates you may be hiring.

A new way of thinking is that you create awesome content in order to: target prospective candidates, advertise in places they hang out, give your current staff something they REALLY want to share, and make your careers/jobs page a destination on the web that people WANT to visit.

Measuring this can be challenging, but here are a few places to start:

  • Page Rank: You've got to start somewhere. Take a look at the Page Rank of your careers page, and strategize on how to raise the score.
  • Google Analytics: Get familiar with it. If you have someone in your company who runs this, start partnering with them. You'll learn a ton about visitors to your careers page, and measure changes you make to the page for effectiveness.
  • Awesome Content: This is not something to necessarily measure, but you have to get visual. The days of the syntax-laden job descriptions are numbered. Start taking pictures and videos to paint the picture of why someone wants to work with you.
  • Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin: Once you have awesome content in place, see how your campaigns impact your follows, likes, tweets, etc. Take a look at this in conjunction with Google Analytics. You can see the correlation for example, between how many times something was liked on Facebook and how many people came to your careers site as a result.
  • Percentage of Applicants: Lastly, you can measure the funnel from how many people viewed the page down to how many actually applied. You should not be discouraged if the number of applications is slightly lower than normal. When you are showing more about yourself as a company, there will be an element of self-selection by candidates. This may ultimately save you time.
  • Targeted Candidates: During each step of creating and distributing awesome content, you should constantly be updating your top target candidates. This is true whether they have shown interest in you or not. You'll want to be able to reach the candidates your company wants to attract with killer content in the future. People who were not interested before can become interested, or at a minimum begin to share with other applicable candidates.

Views: 229

Comment by Jennifer Olsen on January 18, 2012 at 1:42pm

These are all great suggestions. We cannot recommend strongly enough that companies make the investment to create a well-crafted careers page on their website. The page should be easy to find and consistent with the company’s image. The content of the careers page should help to entice the potential candidate to apply for the job by including, for example: employee quotes, details about the benefits & perks you offer, and the benefits of living where the company is located. My colleague, Stephanie Beck-Tauscher, offers more suggestions in her recent blog, “Creating an Inviting Careers Page on Your Website” (http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/?p=1611)


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