Is your recruitment process based on what you know about job seekers…or what you think you know about job seekers?
If there’s one thing over 15 years of in-depth research on job seeker behavior and perceptions have taught us, it’s that now, more than ever, experience matters when it comes to the ability to drive quality candidates to apply for your open positions.
A recent CareerBuilder and Inavero study revealed that top talent wants to engage with prospective employers and experience what it’s like to work for their company before they decide to apply to a position – and they’re increasingly utilizing emerging technology to do it.
How do job seekers really see you? Three questions to ask
If you’ve never taken a step back to consider the experience you offer candidates – from their perspectives – it’s time to do so now. Below are three forms of emerging media candidates utilize today to find opportunities and research potential employers. In effect, they also provide employers the opportunity to interact with and engage with job seekers on their terms. The following exercises will help you see the experience you’re providing candidates – from their point of view.
- Are You Mobile Friendly? Try searching for jobs at your company from your mobile device. Is your company's career site "mobile-friendly" and easy to navigate? Are the pages easy to view and read? Can you easily search for and retrieve opportunities and information about your company? The rate at which people are using mobile devices to exchange information is growing exponentially – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. If you don’t have a ‘mobile-friendly’ website that enables easy navigation and viewing, you’re missing out on a crucial opportunity to reach the growing number of job seekers who search for – and share – opportunities and information on their mobile devices.
- Do You Engage on Video? Enter the term "work at [your company]" on YouTube. Then do the same for your competitors. If you were a candidate, which company would capture your attention more? As the fastest-growing medium for consuming content, videos have an ability to engage candidates and tell a more complete story that is unmatched by any other medium. They are also easy-to-create and can live on nearly any platform by which job seekers search for jobs (job boards and search engines, social networks, company websites, etc.). From “day in the life” videos” to employee testimonials, video gives companies an edge in offering job seekers a peek into the experience of what it’s really like to work for an organization.
Editor’s Note: This concludes our five week series on the Five Ps of Recruitment Marketing (product, price, people, placement, and promotion). Special thanks to Mike Dwyer for an afternoon conversation that inspired this series of blog posts. For a look at assessments on product, price, people and placement, view my previous posts.
Promotion involves the means by which a product is communicated to, or sold, to customers. Traditionally, these aspects of marketing could include direct mail pieces, television and radio advertisements, press and demonstration events, sponsorships and celebrity endorsements, coupons and rebates, brochures, packaging, and free samples. Today, promotions involve other tactics like websites, guerilla marketing, search engine and display advertising, email, and SMS communications.
There is an unending list of ways product benefits and features can be communicated to a highly defined audience. And what’s better is that recruitment marketers can use all these same tactics to market their product: jobs and culture. Promotions are not free however, so marketers factor cost of promotions into the product’s profitability the same way you factor cost per hire.
How do you decide which are right for your target talent?
In marketing, placement involves getting your product or service in front of your target customers. This means selecting the right stores and determining the best place to display it – like the end of an aisle or rack, with a special stand-alone display, or within a check-out counter. The act of distributing the product and ensuring consistent supply within key markets is also involved. Marketers must estimate how much demand they can create in a certain area and supply the right amount of product to meet anticipated demand. Often, pricing strategies fluctuate with changes in placement, thereby adding another layer of complexity to strategy. Logistics – the act of physically transporting a good – must also be considered. As demands grow, additional distribution channels and manufacturing sites closer to where the product is sold are often needed to minimize transportation costs and increase speed to market.
In recruitment, talent acquisition strategists employ these same principles to sell their product: jobs. We plan placement strategies to support regional hiring – say when a new location opens or during periods of growth. To hire, a national job advertisement is often posted, along with state and local advertisements, to source talent already residing in a specific market. Other times, if the role is specific or highly specialized, job ads will be placed on niche boards to reach a defined audience of the workforce. Some geographic areas have less supply of specialized talent, so relocation costs are paid to overcome talent shortages and secure the right candidate for a job. Recruiters attend career fairs at colleges and universities known for strong academic programs to put their product in front of graduates who will have skills and education applicable to a role at the company. Other times, recruitment can resemble a commission sales model and a staffing agency is paid to help fill a job. Similar to a rebate offered to reward consumers for purchasing a good, recruitment marketers may also offer a signing bonus to candidates who accept certain jobs.
Editor’s Note: This five-week series is dedicated to examining the five most common Ps of a typical marketing mix and assessing how they relate to recruitment. Today’s post focuses on people; the remaining concepts - placement and promotion - will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next couple weeks. For a look at assessments on product and price, view my previous posts.
Regardless of the business, the people involved with producing a product or a service inevitably shape the final outcome. While the nature of a particular business certainly renders some attributes more influential than others, the appearance, attitudes, experience, and beliefs of staff impact the sale of a product. In service-based businesses, like restaurants and retail, the appearance of staff reinforces commitments the company makes to health, safety, and brand position. Uniforms and service standards are just two ways businesses seek to deliver on their brand promise through their agents. These define the claims made by the company – whether it is to be the number one luxury retailer or safest car manufacturer.
A company’s people are often called upon to respond to crisis and serve as a testament to a brand promise. Toyota, who issued recalls of roughly 2.3 million vehicles in January 2010, created a series of videos featuring employees stating their commitment to safety. A number of technicians, engineers, plant employees, and dealers discussed the recall and how they planned to move forward. In another example, Domino’s created “The Pizza Turnaround” documentary featuring actual employees and their reactions to consumer opinions. The project featured people from all departments – from chefs and senior leaders to marketing and product management – who openly addressed criticism uncovered online and in focus groups.
So how do people impact recruitment? The individuals within your organization can be your biggest advocates, or the most compelling deterrent in your pursuit of top talent. Employers tell us that employee referrals are often the number one source of hire, even when the awareness of an employee referral incentive is low. What this tells us is that people are passionate about where they work. So much time is spent at work and whether the experience is good or bad – people talk.
Editor’s Note: This five-week series is dedicated to examining the five most common Ps of a typical marketing mix and assessing how they relate to recruitment. Today’s post focuses on price; the remaining concepts – people, placement and promotion - will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next few weeks. For a look at the assessment of product, check out my post from last week.
A number of factors contribute to the final price of a good or service, including the cost of materials or labor to produce the final product, overhead and distribution costs, and desired profitability. Other things like discounts, commission, and marketing costs to acquire a customer impact the bottom line as well. To learn from marketing, consider what it will cost a candidate to accept your job offer.
Seldom is a career opportunity a perfect match for a candidate. In most cases, there may need to be a trade off of desired benefits or a minor sacrifice of one benefit for another. Most job seekers bargain with the variables when deciding whether they will apply for a job. For example, a job may require a longer commute but offer greater advancement potential. Or, a company with a stronger brand reputation may offer a smaller starting salary than a lesser-known company.
Understand the price a candidate may have to pay to accept a particular job so you can proactively emphasize the redeeming qualities of the opportunity that offset costs. Don’t overlook how helpful it can be to share information about the realities of a job. For example, say you know your target talent has between five to eight years of experience and prefers urban living; but your job is in a suburb that requires relocation or a 50 to 60 minute commute. Address it! While it’s unrealistic to include this type of detail in a job advertisement, social media is the ideal forum to elaborate on things beyond essential qualifications and job functions. Seek out employees who have a reverse commute and get them to share their perspective on Facebook. They can give details about taking public transportation and shortcuts they’ve found that make the commute manageable. Whatever the topic, this is just one of the ways to remove obstacles that could prevent your target talent from applying to and accepting your job.
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