All I Want for Christmas: Recruiting Edition

With Christmas only a few days away, I figured it was a great time to get my wish list together for 2013.  But this year it’s not about toys and gifts but more so about the ideas and strategies that I hope catch on in the new year.  Ones that I think can help recruiting organizations derive more value out of the resources they have and in turn recruit more qualified talent into their organizations.


So without delay, here are the 10 things I want to see recruiting organizations incorporate after the Christmas Holiday:


Begin tracking Quality of Source

For any organization to be successful, it’s important to be able to track and measure everything you do based on the desired outcomes that you determine.  For many recruiting organizations, this is focused on bringing in qualified candidates for their positions.

So it’s crucial for organizations to measure this and apply these quality of source metrics to every source they use to drive candidates to apply.  This doesn’t just stand for job boards but should be applied across the board to social networks, Career Site, sourcing campaigns and other recruiting initiatives.

Improve Marketing Messaging

While you want to measure sources based on the quality candidates they bring into your organization, you also need to look at the macro effects your recruitment messaging has on your recruitment funnel.  With simple recruitment metrics like views, apply clicks and applicants, you can get a great view of how good your messaging is on moving candidates from one stage of the funnel to the next.  If you are seeing significant drop-off at any of these stages for a specific job or across the board, you then know that there is a big problem with your messaging.

It’s at this point you know it’s time to take another look at your job descriptions or applicant process, make some changes to improve and keep measuring it until you have a process that limits this drop-off.

Build a Talent Network

In many cases, candidates just aren’t ready to apply to a company and organizations need to be able to provide an alternative way for them to engage with the recruiting organization whether that’s a Talent Network or social recruiting profiles.  The important part of this is to make it available everywhere that your employer brand interacts with candidates.  This includes during your job apply process, in your job ads, on every page of your Career Site, at recruiting events such as Career Fairs, on recruiter email signatures or on your careers blog.  Make it easy for candidates to opt-in to receive content from your organization.

Develop Target Populations

Before you start to recruit for positions, it’s important to understand what skills and candidate populations you really want to target in your strategy.  While they may be diverse, there are more than likely skills that you recruit for much more often than others.

With these skills identified, it will make it easier to use your Talent Network to create targeted pipelines for these types of candidates and for you to use metrics to hone in on the best recruitment marketing mix to attract these different candidate populations.

Content Rich Engagement

Once you build your Talent Network, you are not done by a long shot.  You need to begin creating those skill defined talent pipelines and start figuring out the content that these specific candidate populations want from your organization.  While this will most definitely include targeted job opportunities, you will also want to provide unique content as well.

This content can be anything from company news, Career information, industry news and education materials, job seeking tips, etc.  The key is to produce it and use metrics to help determine the types of content that work well for each of the candidate populations you engage with.

Get Rid of the Generic Career Site

The best candidates have more choices than ever before when they are looking a new job and the Career Site should reflect that.  Gone should be a generic 3-4 Career Pages and Job Search (which is usually not SEO friendly) and in it’s place should be a Careers microsite with content and messaging targeted toward the different candidate populations and skills that you recruit for.

Your Career Site can and should have some general information on it’s homepage with info on the organization, benefits, jobs and the recruiting process.  But you should also go deeper in telling candidates what’s the benefit of working at the organization from their perspective.  It’s great to have a “Why work for Us” page with a global view but with today’s technology it’s just as easy to provide a “Why work for Us as an Engineer” page and content that is much more targeted to a candidate you are trying to recruit.  The whole goal here is to better customize the experience for candidates.

Get Serious about the Candidate Experience

Organizations across the world are beginning to understand that the candidate experience is no longer just a recruiting issue but an overall business and branding issue.  A bad experience of a candidate not receiving a response on their application can have the same affect a bad customer service experience for a company.

That’s why it’s integral to understand how your process and communication strategy should look from the initial interaction you have with candidates until they become hires in your organization (although you should have an employee communication strategy as well.)  Here are some articles that go more deeply in how you can think about your candidate experience and improve it:

Insights from the Candidate Experience Awards

Closing the Loop on the Candidate Experience

Figure out Mobile

Mobile is a huge buzzword both in marketing and recruiting right now.  The real question is understanding really what you should care about with Mobile as it’s application can differ pretty widely based on what you want to accomplish with it.

One area that I think is crucial for recruiting is making sure that candidates can view your recruiting content and jobs via their mobile phones.  Whether it’s a mSite or an app, having a way for candidates to easily be able to browse jobs on the go (and opt-in to your Talent Network) is a great place to start in mobile recruiting.

Be Smart about Social

Social is another buzzword that I think some recruiters are still confused with.  While social can be a powerful tool when used correctly in recruiting, it’s important to have a strategy and clear objectives before you enter the social landscape.

Two tips for when you begin thinking about social.  First, do not expect short-term results.  It takes time to build a following and work out the kinks in what works for the audience you are trying to attract.  So don’t be saddened by lack of results in the first 2 months.  Second, don’t feel like you have to have a presence everywhere (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Istagram, etc.).  It’s better to be great on one platform than mediocre on several.  Figure out where your candidates interact and engage and go there.

Don’t try to be all things to all people

While you should always be trying new things and have a multi-pronged strategy, it’s important to always look to focus on what’s really producing results.  Don’t feel obligated to do social or have diversification if you have done the work and it hasn’t produced results for you.  Measure the results of your initiatives and always look to expand the avenues that work and cut the fat of the ones that don’t.

Start thinking comprehensively

It’s important as an industry that we get out of this silo’d mindset where each recruiting activity is run in isolation. There’s no reason why job posting, Talent Networks, sourcing, employer branding, SEO, mobile and other initiatives shouldn’t run under the same purview.  And in many cases, if you begin to think of them as part of a whole, you can see much greater success.

For instance, a Talent Network will be more effective if it’s tied into both your job distribution and Career Site strategy.  Another example is metrics.  By consolidating and centralizing your metrics across all your recruiting assets (job boards, social, mobile, Career Site, sourcing, Talent Network, etc.) and measuring them side by side, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions that make better use of your recruitment budget.

Those are all the things that I want for this Christmas Holiday.  What is on your wish list?


Share below (include your Twitter handle) and I’ll make sure to add the best ones to this article and share them on Twitter.


Also share your thoughts on the SmashFly Blog.

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