"The most dangerous phrase in the language is, "we've always done it this way."

So said computer scientist and United States Navy officer, Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.

How right she was.

As technology advances and the ways in which people consume and engage with online content shifts as a result, so too, must the sectors in which success is reliant upon the ability to engage and communicate effectively with those people.

That includes recruitment.

Post and pray is dead. Impersonal emails are out. Today's candidates want more, and if recruiters want to win over top talent, they need to play by the rules — the rules of new recruiting. 

1. DO embrace inbound

61% of US job seekers identify themselves as "passive candidates"* — meaning that they're employed, but open to new opportunities. Given that this is the majority of the job seeking audience, the case for companies adopting a content- and data-driven "inbound" approach to hiring is stronger than ever.

2. DO acknowledge that content is king

If inbound is the new experience in recruiting, recruitment marketing is the delivery mechanism for that experience. And at its core, is content. Content is the method by which you communicate employer brand, EVP, and other information that is key to creating a positive candidate experience at the earliest touch-point. Content, when researched, planned, executed and delivered correctly, can make all the difference to your company's ability to attract, engage, and convert top talent. The sooner you realize this and harness its potential as part of the inbound experience, the better.

3. DO put the candidate first

Skilled candidates today know they're in demand. They can pick and choose the jobs they go for and the companies they engage with, and can come and go at the drop of a hat. If your company plans on hiring and retaining top level employees, you'd be wise to prioritize the delivery of a top class candidate experience — from the recruiting content you publish and the way you structure and conduct applicant interviews, to the measures your company puts in place to monitor and ensure happiness among existing employees. Keep candidates informed, and talent engaged, and you're on the right track. 

4. DO collaborate

As hiring becomes more inbound, employing techniques and approaches traditionally associated with sales and marketing, existing recruiters have two options: put on your marketer's cap and skill-up by taking a course or two, OR, enlist the help of your company's resident marketing and communications experts to help you with content creation and ways to reach out, engage, and understand the needs of your target audience. The beauty of collaboration is that it also allows for an alignment of voice and message across corporate, product, and employment brand collateral so that company, customer, and candidate, all stand to gain.

5. DO more on mobile

With 43% of job seekers searching opportunities on mobile, and 62% of those highly-sought-after passive candidates having viewed a company's careers site on mobile, it's hard to believe that 59% of recruiters are still currently investing NOTHING in mobile-optimized career sites. Remember what I said above about putting the candidate first? Yeah, that means paying attention to what they're communicating through stats like these and making your careers-related content mobile-friendly. 

6. DO delight in data

77% of recruiters are more efficient and effective when they unders.... Understanding the talent pool means looking at data that reveals at a fine-grain level, who your candidates are, and what kind of content resonates with them. Data-driven recruiting is more targeted, resulting in a higher rate of candidate conversion, a higher quality of candidate entering into the pipeline, and a faster, more effective hiring process overall. 

7. DO invest in your employer brand

A strong employer brand is twice as likely to be linked to job consideration as a strong company brand.** Perhaps it's not surprising then that as the competition for talent grows increasingly more fierce, more companies are funneling resources into strengthening their employment brands. What does this mean? It means taking the time to define and communicate to employees — existing and prospective — all of the things that make your company a great one to work for. Not only will a strong employer brand increase the likelihood of candidates considering a position with your company, an employer brand — one that's clearly defined and consistent in message — will drive engagement from better quality candidates, too.

8. DON’T ditch outbound 

Just because inbound is in, doesn't mean you should let your outbound activities fall to the wayside completely. Email and phone correspondence with candidates, for example, are two outbound activities that form the basis of the integral "nurture" stage of the recruitment marketing process. What's different, however, is that when factored into the inbound process, these emails and calls aren't coming in cold. Content has facilitated the first candidate-employer interaction. In fact, content is the company's way of asking the candidate for permission to engage. When done as a follow-up to that, a call and or email can be both a welcome and highly effective means of moving an already-warm hiring lead through the pipeline — and one-step closer to the point of applying. 

This post was originally published on the Clinch blog :)

Views: 1824

Comment by Daniel Fogel on June 25, 2015 at 11:50am

Maura - Love the post and I definitely agree.  I'd also add keeping the process as transparent as possible so candidates know where they stand, what to expect as next steps, and a basic timeline.  Members - Which of these 8 rules do you find to be the biggest challenge for you today?

Comment by Maura McElhone on June 25, 2015 at 11:55am

Thanks for commenting, Daniel. Your suggestions are great, and this initial post is definitely provisional . . . as we learn more, I'll add more! I look forward to reading members' responses to your question! 


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