Lessons in candidate engagement from the Old Spice Man!

Originally posted on the SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Blog.

If you didn’t see it, Old Spice ran a great marketing campaign last week. Through social media platforms, they asked fans to send in questions for the Old Spice guy (who appears in their commercials) and within 24 hours created over 100 video responses to the best questions they received. This is the best example I’ve seen to date of a brand engaging with their customers and fans in a personalized way.

So what lessons can we learn from Old Spice in terms of candidate engagement for recruiting. Here are a few:

Timely Response is key - One of the reasons why the Old Spice campaign was so successful was that they created the videos all in one day so fans received their responses within 24 hours. If it took them a week to create all the videos, the impact wouldn’t have been the same.

One of the best ways to improve candidate experience is by providing quick responses. You want to provide candidates with timely information and let them know what to expect with your hiring process. Timely response will make sure that candidates have a more favorable view of your employer brand as well as be more apt to apply to future positions at your company.

Personalized can be for the masses - When you look at the Old Spice video campaign, it is amazing to me how they made the campaign feel so personal to everyone, even though they only personally responded to around 100 people. The main reason for this is because they made all these responses in public forum for everyone to see online.

By leveraging social media tools you can create an open forum for candidates to ask you about your company and the positions you offer (a simple FAQ page that answers past candidate questions would work as well). This transparency shows candidates that you are responsive and care about the people you bring into your company thus increasing your employer brand.

Sustainability - The Old Spice video responses were a huge deal this week. Everyone was talking about them but now the chatter is about other topics. A hard day’s work had a great impact on the Old Spice brand but now the campaign is over.

In recruiting, you don’t really have this luxury and therefore need to set up tools and processes to keep in touch with qualified candidates 365 days a year. This will be a long process that requires consistent effort to be successful. However, with the right effort you can build the right connections in your Talent Network and create a sustainable pipeline for talent in your company for years to come.

Targeting the right people - When you look at the Old Spice responses, you notice that they responded to people that were thought leaders on social networks, stars like Alyssa Milano or questions that they knew they could make a hilarious joke about. In short, they identified the people & questions that they felt would be the most influential to their campaign.

This is also true for recruiting. While you should get back to everyone that submitted an application to your company (if you can), you should go that extra mile to respond to those candidates that are the best qualified for the position and your company. Create ways to identify these top performers from the rest andutilize employment branding resources to engage with these candidates (Twitter, LinkedIn, email, SMS, etc.)

The key to all of this is that you don’t need a full staff of writers and video production staff on call, to make an impact with your candidate engagement. All you need is some effort to provide timely, personalized responses to candidates you identify as top performers in the pre-, during and post-stages of your application process. It isn’t “Post & Pray” but a continuous conversation with your Talent Network that will lead to recruitment marketing success.

About the Author: Chris is the Marketing Analyst for SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly is the provider of the first recruitment marketing platform called WildFire that enables companies and staffing firms to easily distribute and more importantly measure the performance of their recruiting efforts online.

The WildFire recruitment marketing platform offers every tool you need for your recruitment marketing needs all in one centralized solution including Real-Time Recruitment Metrics, Job Ad Distribution (job boards, social networks, SEM, email & SMS campaigns), Recruitment Opt-In Database, Recruitment CRM, Web Commercials / Micro-sites and Resume Sourcing services.

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