Why Recruiters must think like e-Marketers

Marketing Strategy

Inspired by Aliah D. Wright article at shrm.org

The game of recruiting has changed—this much is obvious. However, “the mind-set of the recruiter hasn’t changed since the early 1970s,” said Geoff Webb, senior strategic sourcer for Aon Hewitt in Toronto.

It is still the same process; place an advertisement and wait for resumes and applications to return.

Of course there are some changes; job boards came along, followed by social media. Add to those mediums tweets, blogs, and job boards on the company website plus whatever else you can think of. But is this really what social media can achieve?

I draw your attention back to the title of this article. Recruiters have to start thinking like good e-marketers.

Social media is not a broadcast tool. The conventional approach of casting a wide net and hoping to haul-in a catch, simply does not work. Social media, as the name suggest, is a social activity. It is about engagement. People don’t see your post and think immediately that, “Hey, there is a job. Let’s apply for it”.

With social media, they want an opportunity to know more about the company; find something they like about it or have a positive experience with the brand, then think “This is a good place to work at, let’s see if there are any positions that I can apply for”. However, Human Resources folk are not attuned to how this works.

So then, how do e-Marketers think and work?

1. Build a reputation
You might have heard this term from your marketing colleagues: Word-of-Mouth. Basically, it is like how recruiters get referrals for talents; you tell great stories about your company, your culture, open your company to potential candidates and let them know more about the company, what it does and how it operates. From there potential candidates that are interested will contact you.

What social media does, is to help you share those stories more quickly and widely. Compare it to how it might have been done previously; from one person at a time, to the next and so on. Social media allows you to spread stories from one source and share it quickly and let’s others share it as quickly as well.

What this effectively achieves is; create demand.

However, there are things to watch out for:

Being social is a two-way street, just like meeting with someone, there needs to be an exchange of dialogue (lest the other person gets bored or think that you’re obnoxious). So expect them to say something about you and be prepared to engage in conversation.

As with a conversation with someone new, be truthful and believable. The Internet is filled with many avenues that people can search for alternate views and opinions from others. A simple process of “Googling” it will produce the results.

If there are disgruntled staff out there, then it is possible that those views will bubble up and appear somewhere. Address those issues. There are so many times an issue can be covered up before people come to the conclusion that there must be some truth to what is being said.

2. Establish your brand through the company’s culture
What is the company’s brand? I would encourage recruiters to think of the company as a person and how you might describe this person? Think about someone that you like (your best friend, your favourite grandfather) and you might use these questions to describe that person:

  • What does this person do for a living?
  • How do they treat others?
  • What are they good at doing?
  • What are the beliefs of this person?

Now translate the above questions to describe a company:

  • What business does the company engage in?
  • How do they treat their staff?
  • What are the strengths of the company?
  • What does the company belief in?

As with describing a person, you can go on and on with a long list of adjectives, but what is the most telling way you could do this? Tell stories; little anecdotes that people can connect with.

This is how your brand is born.

3. Recruit Passively
Once you have developed your brand, people will notice you. Soon enough, like any likeable person, people will want to befriend you, work with you. They will start to send applications seeking opportunities—this begins your path to passive recruitment.

From there, what you have then, is not a resourcing challenge. It becomes a screening challenge.

Set up resource tools for you to collect these applications, screen them and keep them for future reference. If you find a good candidate, then engage them, like how you would keep in touch with a friend that you want to keep.

And when a job opportunity opens up that might fit this candidate, I am sure you would know what to do.

Find out more about the future of Recruiters in this recorded webinar, see what’s the future of recruitment.

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