By the Numbers: 5 Recruitment Channels You Should Optimize in 2016
Do the recruitment channels you invest the most resources in actually match up with candidate preferences? If your primary channel is your organization’s career website, you can breathe a (very) small sigh of relief. Because across the board, candidates and employers alike agree that career sites are the most valuable channels for connecting applicants with job opportunities.
But a career site is certainly not the only channel at the top of the hiring funnel that recruiters need to focus on. Candidate preferences for researching job opportunities are shifting with the rise of new technologies and websites. Yet many employers are not keeping pace, and are continuing to focus on some recruitment channels that potential candidates seem to not prefer.
The 2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report sheds some light on this discrepancy. Through surveys of nearly 200 global employers and 130,000 candidates, conducted in mid-2015, The Talent Board revealed not just how important career sites are, but also the prominence of other recruitment channels from the perspective of the candidate.
When asked to select up to five different channels, based on how valuable they are for job searching and researching employers, candidates overwhelmingly chose careers sites. But the other channels in the top five results might surprise you.
1. Company Career Site: 64%
Career sites have been popular research tools for job seekers of all ages and both genders, for years. And that’s not surprising–how many people wouldn’t want to go directly to the source, to find information about a possible employer? But recruiters shouldn’t rest on their laurels simply because their organization has a career website. Candidates expect far more from your site than they used to. And they expect to find it instantly.
To ensure your career site is readily available, and has all the features and information candidates look for, try assessing the website yourself. Starting in a search engine, is it easy to find? Is the design modern, and in line with your company’s overall look and feel? How easy is it to search through job listings, and apply regardless of your device? Keeping your company career website at the leading edge of candidate experience will increase your visibility as an employer and leave a good impression on potential applicants.
2. Job Notifications or Agents: 34.5%
The next most popular recruitment channel, from the candidate’s perspective, at first might not sound like a valuable research technique. How much information can a notification really offer? But the truth is job alerts are a sign of high engagement with your employer brand. Candidates opt-in to these notifications, so they’ve already researched your organization and have a strong interest in working for you.
3. LinkedIn Career Pages: 29.6%
With over 414 million members and millions of company pages, LinkedIn is by far the most popular social professional network. And almost one third of The Talent Board’s respondents chose LinkedIn Career Pages as a top source of job opportunity research.
When employers were asked which recruitment channels they are investing the most resources in, number three on their list was mobile, and LinkedIn pages didn’t even make it into the top five. Talent acquisition strategies that don’t already emphasize LinkedIn should take a closer look at the social network. Its popularity with candidates, and its insights into both passive and active candidates, make it an indispensible tool for tech-savvy recruiters.
4. Online Groups (LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google+, Other): 25.6%
Next on the candidates’ list of valuable research channels was online groups, typically those within social networks like LinkedIn and Google+, or online communities like Reddit. The opportunity to connect with fellow job seekers, or those gainfully employed, who share a common interest or skill is very appealing to candidates today. And employers who successfully engage with, or even create, some of these groups without becoming too heavy handed can create a space to build connections with potential applicants and spread their employer brand.
5. Employer Reviews (Glassdoor, Vault, Great Rated!): 19.2%
Rounding out the top five research channels that candidates prefer are the websites that collect anonymous reviews of employers, in addition to salary data and interview tips. This is an increase from 19% in 2014, pushing employer reviews well ahead of the next most popular channel, employee referrals (19.2%). Recruiters might think they can’t have an impact on the results candidates see on these sites. But the reality is they are full of useful feedback recruiters can take into account immediately, to improve the experience of future applicants.
Some of these channels may sound relatively simple to focus on. But the Talent Board found that over the last year, employers have been reducing their investments in social media (and mobile). At the same time, many employers have been increasing their investments in job boards and career fairs, neither of which came close to the top five choices for candidates. Their research also found that 76% of candidates prefer to conduct job opportunity research across multiple channels.
The candidates recruiters are after are increasingly independent and motivated job seekers, eager to find opportunities through their own methods based on modern technologies. Talent acquisition strategies that want to proactively respond to these candidate preferences would do well to invest in the recruitment channels that candidates prefer, while continuing to build their employer brand and their online connections.
For more information on data and analytics in recruiting, check out our new eBook, “An Exploration into the Depths of Recruiting Analytics.”