Some recruitment campaigns, job advertisements, and other calls to action in context of recruitment, yield better results. This can appear to happen magically – the right message, at the right at time, at the right place, to a targeted person – and voila! In reality for the magic to happen a recruitment campaign needs all of these elements, but borrowing an old saying from the retail industry, “it’s all about location,” suggesting that certain elements are more pivotal than others.
A gas station on the wrong side of the highway could go bankrupt, even selling cheaper or better gas, while the opposite side of the street might be thriving. A fantastic house having all the requisite attractive elements, which is located either too far from areas of interest or in less desirable neighborhoods, will not attract as much interest nor premium as a house in the right location. A billboard in the woods or on the wrong streets or highways can be ineffective, while the same billboard in the right location can flood your inbox with new prospective clients.
Let’s face it, we all love to tout how we got so lucky by finding this or that great candidate, but what if the approach we used wasn’t actually luck? Or rephrased, we might have been lucky but in something very different; we might have been lucky in accidentally stumbling upon what we should have always be doing to attract great candidates, instead of getting lucky in the sense of doing something completely random and accidentally attracting a great candidate. The former, if harnessed, can be made scalable and repeatable, and represents tremendous opportunities to reinvigorate your recruitment efforts.
Visiting the website of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (by the way, when are they ever going to change that name?) was revealing in the sense that even the U.S. Government is realizing that they need to top-grade their approach. They have launched an all-new look for their HR University (www.hru.gov) to help teach government employees the business of HR. Digging around one can even find something titled, Recruitment Elements: End-to-End Hiring Roadmap. While the concepts addressed therein are not revolutionary, it does underscore the universal realization that there are some processes and approaches that simply work better than others.
Spend 10 minutes doing some Google searches – ok that’s impossible for a data geek but give it a try anyway – and you’ll quickly learn that according to staff.com 73% of recruiters hired people using the Social Web, and tweetmyjobs reports that 50% of job seekers spend more than 6 hours per week using social media for their job search. However, complexities of the social media landscape can make it challenging.
Their are 40 (!) very popular social networking sites, and LinkedIn alone reports 2.1 million groups. The Social Web represents the most promising “real estate” (or location) to articulate a recruitment-marketing message. And compelling metrics around Social Web adoption for recruitment did not exist ten years ago like they do today, so it’s time that we move past relying on luck or the scattered shot gun approach to attract great candidates – as has been satirized by the industry as “post and pray” – and begin implementing targeted recruitment marketing using the Social Web.
Targeted recruitment marketing is neither a panacea nor something that can be put into a box. Simply picking Facebook or LinkedIn and calling either one a channel is not as effective as targeting various groups therein. However, those who do venture into the realm of targeted recruiting will be able to consistently expose their recruitment messaging to the most relevant audience of prospective candidates.
We say “prospective candidates” because on the Social Web nearly everyone is a prospective candidate, so recruiters need to learn how to navigate thousands of user groups, some public and some private, to make sure their recruitment efforts bare fruit. Think of targeting using the Social Web like getting a shot at the doctors office – get the shot in the right place and you feel better, but if you get the shot in the wrong place you might go through all the pain, plus the time and cost, yet you might experience no benefit.
Attaining sustainable talent attraction initiatives requires more than slick recruitment advertising or salaries that pay 25% above market rates. A catalogue of ideal Social Web channels to reach targeted audiences, and a repeatable process for ensuring that all recruitment marketing finds its way to those targeted channels, is a critical component of an overall recruitment strategy that will produce measurable ROI and avoid relying on luck in attracting great talent.
Michael Beygelman is Chairman of Candarine, which has developed an automated technology platform for distributing targeted job advertisement, recruiting marketing and employment branding to the Social Web. Candarine is now available in within SmartRecruiters.