Goliath vs Goliath
Facebook announced they are going to start attacking LinkedIn’s market, in response andto address the platforms Achilles heel (lack of user engagement) LinkedIn introduced the world’s largest personal blogging platform and put more effort into promoting the value of having a good Company Page.
Less publically LinkedIn also began restricting some of the functionality that free account holders have been used to, plus there are even unsubstantiated rumours that LinkedIn is making changes to restrict the data that is available from Google or Bing search. If true this will have a major impact on all those who are reliant on X-ray searching.
Even with all these changes, it is apparent that unlike Facebook, LinkedIn still has major engagement problems. This means less of your target audience is seeing your posts and response rates to InMails will continue to get worse (particularly for agency recruiters).
In 2014 recruiters have still been heavily reliant on LinkedIn but moving into 2015 the industry is going to be forced to look beyond this platform for sourcing. Whether Facebook is going to become a recruiting superpower remains to be seen.
Google+ Has Finally Arrived
You haven’t missed anything, it still hasn’t! Whilst some people still talk about it like it is the future, even Google seems to have realised people don’t want to be forced to create a profile. Granted it is another tool in the recruiter tool belt, on which you may be able to find the odd candidate who isn’t on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, but I predict 2015 will be the year it slowly disappears.
The Little Bird Gets Bigger
As an industry we still aren’t taking Twitter seriously, many companies and individuals realise the need to be on Twitter but fail to invest in it enough to see positive return. This is why the average recruiter account still only has 37 followers. Unlike Google+ Twitter is however really beginning to show its value in the recruitment community, watch out for more software applications designed to help recruit and more importantly manage brands on Twitter.
Introduced to everyone this year, Facebook Graph Search hasn’t been the game changing solution that we thought it might be. It is useful to be able to search Facebook but the reality is most people had an account prior to 2014, so they don’t have a profession or employer listed. Results are significantly better if instead of using Graph Search to search for job titles it is used instead to find people who like certain groups or companies. This data can then be used very effectively for targeted paid marketing. Watch this space next year, we are in the middle of putting together a real world case study that will show exactly how this can be done, including costs, results and how it compares with other techniques.
Germany introduced new legislation to restrict employee access to email outside of business hours and globally there now appears to be concern that working 24/7 is bad for us. Only 4 years ago I worked in an environment where I couldn’t get access to my emails outside the office and didn’t have a work mobile. All this meant was that I had to stay in the office to work, now I can access what I want when I want it. Personally I far prefer the current scenario over what I had before and predict more recruiters will begin to embrace flexi-work.
This trend of mobile usage also means that in 2015 a big focus will be on ensuring everything that potential candidates interact with online is mobile optimised, this includes job adverts, application forms and careers pages.
Social policy has been around for a couple of years, but companies are beginning to realise the importance of proactively encouraging employees to use social media. Nothing is more powerful for marketing than employees all individually promoting a company. Training, support and clear guidelines are essential to make this happen and in 2015 companies will begin to invest in these areas.
2014 has been the year of the branding video, I’m convinced that video producers are quietly becoming rich just from the recruitment industry. The problem is that all employment branding videos look and sound the exactly the same.
Careers pages have gone through a similar process, with lots of shiny new micro-sites dedicated to the employment brand. The problem is that every company is focused on showing that they have a pool or foosball table and how great their best employees are, but they don’t show how they are different from their competition.
2015 will be the year of the video job advert, with individual videos being created for each key role. Careers pages will also continue to evolve, providing prospective candidates with greater insights into each area of a business.
We all know employee referrals are incredibly powerful, however it still isn’t clear how to capitalise on this tool. There are lots of great ideas and plenty of new software companies providing solutions that are dedicated to this problem. In 2015 we will start to see industry leaders setting clear precedent on the best way to track, engage and support employee referral programs.
Job / Recruitment Marketing
Job marketing isn’t a new concept, we all do it when we post adverts to job boards. In this context however the term relates to advertising opportunities in places where your target market are active, (even when they are not looking for employment) through a variety of different marketing mediums. This is a concept that the market leaders are beginning to experiment with, but going into 2015 as skills shortages continue, more companies will be prepared to take risks and we should start to see lots more interesting recruiting campaigns.
2014 has been the year of realisation, recruiters have acknowledged that social media andmarketing are tools that need to be used. Many will have briefly flirted with some of the areas mentioned in this post, then seeing little in terms of results gone back to their old sourcing techniques. 2015 will see those that have persevered starting to experience success and then quickly pulling away from everyone else.
It looks to be an exciting year, role on January, but don’t forget to switch off your phone and get some well-deserved rest over the next few weeks (or paint the deck, travel hundreds of miles and fight the Christmas shopping crowds!).
About The Author
Chris has worked in the recruitment industry for 8 years, where he has been fortunate enough to spend considerable time getting to know the inner workings of three different recruitment sectors construction, technology and energy.
Most recently whilst recruiting high end technical professionals for the oil and gas industry in Houston, Chris was exposed to one of the most challenging labour markets in the world. The sourcing solutions he learnt to apply were far ahead of those that he had been exposed to back home, so he decided to return to New Zealand and share these insights with the local recruitment marketplace.
Now at Prominence Chris focuses on working with both agencies and employers to up-skill recruiters on social recruiting and also to advise on social employment branding. Through Prominence Chris also volunteers at tertiary education facilities to provide real world advice to students and career counsellors on how best to utilise social media for job search purposes.
Chris can be found on Twitter @findsouth
The Prominence Blog can be found here