The one change you need to make to get a better quality of candidates may just be your mindset.
If you really want to know what it takes to recruit today’s best candidates and stay competitive in the market for top talent, it’s time to stop thinking of yourself as a recruiter and start thinking of yourself as a marketer.
Why? Because essentially, as a recruiter, your goal is no different than that of a marketer’s: to convince others to invest in a certain product or service. When it comes to recruitment, your company is the product you want job seekers to purchase.
Marketing to Job Seekers
All job seekers are consumers; therefore, the way they decide which jobs to apply to and which companies to work for mirrors the way consumers today make purchasing decisions. With increasing frequency, they base their decisions on research and peer recommendations gathered from websites, social networks and various emerging media.
Once you understand that your employment brand is your product and job seekers are your consumers, you can create your strategy around that. Start thinking like a marketer using the following steps:
- Consider your audience as you create your selling point. There’s a reason CareerBuilder has put 15 years’ worth of time and resources into tracking and analyzing job seeker behavior. It’s the same reason marketers invest in focus groups and customer feedback surveys. Consumers make the call on what the latest trends are, not marketers. Marketers simply follow their leads. Likewise, as a recruiter, you have to understand how and where your candidates are searching for jobs and what they want from prospective employers. From there, you can create your selling point: a message that compels job seekers to want to learn more about your company, what benefits they gain when they come to work for you and what incentives they get for staying loyal to you.
- Embrace emerging media. The most successful marketers recognize the power of emerging media. Emerging media are the various communication channels – such as social media, the mobile web and online video – that have surfaced in the last few years, but are yet to be considered mainstream. The rate at which users are embracing these channels, however, is unprecedented, underscoring an incredible opportunity for employers to reach job seekers at a faster rate, on a wider scale and on a more engaging level than ever before. But it’s not just consumers who are utilizing these technologies; increasingly, job seekers are utilizing these emerging media to research jobs and prospective employers.
- Appeal to your audience’s emotions. Marketers strive to connect with consumers on an emotional level in order to earn their trust, business and loyalty. Employers can do the same with potential employees. Establishing an emotional connection with job seekers may sound like an unconventional recruiting tactic, but today’s job seeker experience has changed vastly over the last few years, and it requires a different approach to the recruitment process. Recruitment videos are one of the best ways to connect with job seekers on an emotional level, particularly when it comes to employee testimonials. Up-close-and-personal stories from real life employees captured on video provide a more personal experience for candidates, who get to witness what it’s actually like to be a part of something that’s bigger than them.
- Allow your audience to take your product for a test drive. Creating an online recruitment video for job seekers is also like giving out a free sample of your product. By seeing a tour of the facility, “meeting” the leadership team or watching employees as they go through their day and discuss their experiences, candidates get to see before they buy – in a more engaging and realistic way than flat copy in a job posting could ever provide.
- Make their purchasing experience easy. Today’s consumers are used to “one click” features on sites like Amazon.com, which enable them to make their purchase almost immediately. While a job application might necessitate a few more steps, your online application process should still be as user-friendly as possible. The more hoops candidates have to jump through to apply for your positions, the less likely they are to complete the process. It’s also worth noting that retail companies always send post-purchase emails enabling them to review their orders and get updates on the statuses. Give candidates the same treatment: They’ll appreciate knowing their application didn’t just disappear into a black hole and it will save you the trouble of fielding calls and emails calls from confused and frustrated applicants.
Above all, the one thing you need to know about the marketer mindset is that consumer is king. When it comes to the most effective way to market your positions, it’s not about what you think you should be doing; it’s about what your target audience is doing. If you don’t know what your target audience wants – how they want to receive information and interact – you can’t put a strategy around it.
Understand your audience, and the efforts you make to recruit them will be that much more effective.
Jamie Womack is Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Branding at CareerBuilder, LLC, where she directs the development of strategic marketing for the corporate marketing team and focuses on the recruitment needs of employers of all sizes.
Exclusive webcast: Join Jamie Womack and CareerBuilder Area Vice President Andrew Streiter on Tuesday, September 27 for Going Social: How to Leverage Social Media In Your Recruitment Strategy, wherein they discuss the best ways to leverage emerging media to strengthen your employment brand and find the best talent for your organization. Learn more or register at www.careerbuilder.com/GoingSocial
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