Harnessing the Power of the Web In Recruiting—a Follow-Up to #SRSC

Harnessing the Power of the Web In Recruiting—a Follow-Up to #SRSC

Mike Roberts

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at GSMI’s Social Recruiting Strategies Conference in San Francisco. My presentation was on the topic of inbound recruiting, and how companies can harness the power of the internet as part of their talent acquisition strategy.

“Inbound recruiting” is a relatively new moniker for the intersection of recruitment marketing and digital marketing. Attendees seemed to be very interested in this concept, so I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a few things I discussed during the presentation, right here on the Jibe blog.

Inbound Recruiting at a Glance

For those interested, I’ve uploaded the presentation onto SlideShare and I’ll also share it below:

This presentation provided a high-level, strategic approach to attracting job seekers in a way that delivers long-term returns. For context, here’s a quick overview.

Many companies are struggling to connect with skilled and qualified candidates, and in the past the origins of their struggles often varied significantly. Today, though, we’re starting to see a common challenge across a diverse set of companies—getting the most out of the internet as a recruiting resource.

Studies from Bersin by Deloitte and other independent analyst firms pegged the career site as the top source of hire in 2014. The most important aspect of this data is that it’s driven by a change in candidate behavior, which, in and of itself, is a derivative of broader changes in the way everyday people use the internet and technology.

People have become so used to consulting the internet before making any decisions—think about buying a car, watching a movie, finding a restaurant.

As that trend continues at an extraordinarily fast pace, it’s only natural for candidates to increasingly shift more and more of their job search online, which means doing more research in places like social media, review sites, Google, and on companies’ websites. This, in turn, is driving more candidates to apply directly from career sites.

The problem is, many talent acquisition teams aren’t thinking in this manner. They’re focused on traditional, outbound recruiting methods like cold emailing and blasting job boards with new jobs and ads. This old approach doesn’t account for evolving candidate behaviors and the expectations they have for both mobile and the web (which we’re talking about here interchangeably).

Ideally, companies should be working to optimize the experience candidates have on the web, and that means strategically approaching each different inbound channel such as social recruiting, employer branding content, recruitment marketing, and SEO. It also means optimizing the career site for today’s digitally-savvy candidates.

We’ll be releasing an eBook this month which dives into different strategies and trends around the idea of inbound recruiting, so keep an eye out.

Harnessing the Power of the Web for Recruiting

Above depicts the concept of inbound recruiting at a high level. More information on the connection between changing candidate behaviors and expectations can be found here. And more on taking advantage of the internet as a strategic recruiting asset can be found here.

There are a few points I’d like to make to close out this post, which I think are important to both quell any feelings of being overwhelmed by the expansiveness of the web and encourage talent acquisition professionals to start taking advantage of its power.

Change in strategy is almost always met with resistance

Many of the recruiting strategies that worked in the past may still work today, but it makes little sense to not make the web a centerpiece in your recruiting strategy. The challenge is, trying to transform your strategy away from traditional methods is often met with resistance.

People are hesitant (sometimes afraid) to learn new skills, especially if the value seems arbitrary, so that’s something you’ve got to push through. If you’re coming up with a strategy to equip recruiters with social recruiting skills, then you’ve got to concurrently find a way to show a return on their efforts. That will catalyze buy-in and hopefully hurdle resistance.

Effectively executing inbound recruiting takes time and persistence

During my presentation, I mentioned one of the biggest challenges with inbound recruiting is the fact that it takes time, expertise, and dedication to the cause. You can get as creative and complex as you want with working to optimize each of these inbound channels—social, SEO, content, your career site, etc.

You may not see results immediately, but in my experience, if you’re moving in the right direction, monitoring the data, and adapting to what it says, you’ll see major gains over time. Think about the continuous improvement model when you ideate, execute, measure, and iterate.

Candidate experience plays a major role in inbound recruiting

When coming up with an inbound recruiting strategy, you’re likely to start by focusing on just a few aspects, and then building from there. Remember: continuous improvement is key.

That said, when approaching something like social recruiting, for instance, it’s important to keep candidate experience as the focal point, using digital marketing strategies as a means to amplify your ability to connect with candidates (not the other way around). If you make candidate experience a priority, you’ll see significantly better long-term results.

Most of aspects discussed above are Millennially-focused

Millennials now comprise the largest proportion of the workforce. That has to be reflected in your recruiting strategy. And if there’s one thing we know about Millennials, and presumably all generations to come, their lives are only getting more digital.

If you have any questions, objections, or comments, feel free to tweet me @mp_roberts.

Candidates are consumers, and providing them with a consumer-quality experience will go a long way when few others are. Read our new eBook, “The Talent Acquisition Leader’s Guide to the New Candidate Journey” to learn more about the topic of recruiting and retaining millennials and what to do about it.
new candidate journey ebookcareer site assessment

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