The Recruiting Strategy that Will Get You a Promotion In 2017

The Recruiting Strategy that Will Get You a Promotion In 2017

Mike Roberts

It’s about time we had a talk. We don’t necessarily want to be the ones to ever-so-bluntly say that your recruiting team is misallocating money, time, and other valuable resources. But you’ve left us with few other choices. So here it goes.

We recently read a new study from LinkedIn. They surveyed several thousand talent acquisition leaders across the globe, and something didn’t quite add up. In particular, take a look at the following stats:

  • 57% of talent acquisition leaders report their top concern is “competition for talent”
  • 80% of talent leaders agree that employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent
  • 45% of 2016 budget was allocated to job boards, advertising and recruitment agency costs—only 8% was allocated to employer branding

Despite the positive impacts employer branding has on hiring “great talent,” tons of budget in 2016 went to that same old coin-operated mix of third-party recruitment agencies, advertising, and job boards.

2017 budgets are likely being finalized as we write this. The question is, what percentage do you have allocated to employer branding and other proactive recruiting strategies like inbound recruiting that have the potential to transform the way you attract talent?

Do your company—and your career—a favor, and be the one who says “hey, maybe we should reconsider how we spend our money next year.” Without a doubt, it takes time to see the benefits of proactive recruiting strategies, but once you do you’ll be thanked (and hopefully rewarded) graciously.

Why Companies Stick with Transactional Recruiting Strategies

The easiest thing to do in business is stick with what worked in the past. But when the world is changing direction and you don’t adapt, the cost of inaction can put you at an irrevocable disadvantage.

In the realm of recruiting, what’s changing is how candidates search for, discover, and apply to jobs. The internet and mobile technology have fundamentally altered those processes. There’s no going back.

We’ve been talking about the new candidate journey for a while now. This refers to the sophisticated, research-backed path today’s job seekers take prior to submitting their application.

Studies show that candidates look at an average of 16 different resources in their job search, they spend anywhere from 1-5 hours reading up on a company, and at least 76% learn about new opportunities and apply without ever talking to a recruiter. Recruiting strategies need to adapt to that, but on a whole the space is not moving fast enough.

There remains to be too much emphasis on transactional recruiting strategies.

When we say transactional, we mean that a hiring manager lets talent acquisition know she needs a new employee, and then that team’s response is to either put money into job board advertising (PPC) or contract a third-party agency to help them fill the position—essentially starting from scratch each time.

This approach may ultimately help you hit your hiring goals, but it lacks any commitment to the new candidate journey, and does virtually nothing in terms of delivering an ROI on your resources.

There is a massive opportunity to break through this convention by incorporating a mix of proactive recruiting strategies in 2017, and yet few employers will. Why? Because doing so takes resources, expertise and (perhaps most important) patience—the benefits are not immediate. Most professionals are wired (and incentivized) to work toward acceptable results that happen today, rather than holding out for exceptional results that happen tomorrow.

Strive for Transformation, Not Transaction in 2017

2017 could be the year that you stop simply recruiting, and start attracting. We’re talking about laying the groundwork for a comprehensive inbound recruiting strategy (more than just employer branding) designed to relieve pressure on transactional recruiting.

From the top of the funnel (social, SEO, content, employer branding, calls-to-action, career sites, job boards, off-site PR, etc.) to the middle of the funnel (more social and content, employer branding, email, talent networks, job alerts, etc.) to the bottom of the funnel (consumerized—not out-of-the-box ATS—career site job search…like the Google Jobs API, apply flows, mobile recruiting, etc.), there’s a lot to account for and invest resources into.

Nearly every aspect of inbound recruiting takes place on the web, so consequently each can be measured with analytics. Your first task will be to baseline performance on your website, social media, and so on. And then most likely, you’ll have to start experimenting within one or more of the areas at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel, show value, and grow from there.

You’ll also need to bridge the gap, if there still is one, between your recruiting and marketing teams. This is essential for an effective inbound recruiting strategy. Marketing has the resources and know-how to put some of these staples into place right away.

Here’s an in-depth look at how to develop and execute on an inbound recruiting strategy.

As we said, results won’t come quickly or easily. Think about building a social presence, an employer brand-focused blog people love, a robust talent network…these things take time! The natural reaction will be to give up and focus on those conventional recruiting methods that deliver an immediate, tangible return. But that’s exactly why this is such a huge opportunity. Those who persevere will improve key metrics like time to fill and cost per hire, while helping to move the talent acquisition space and their career forward in the process.

We believe the next generation of recruiting leaders will be the ones who believe in and strive for proactive (inbound) recruiting strategies. Whether you want to be led or you want to be the one leading depends on the actions you take now.

Check out our eBook, “The Talent Acquisition Leader’s Guide to the New Candidate Journey.” From employer branding to recruitment marketing and conversion optimization, this eBook dives into what modern leaders should be thinking about.

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