Recruiters World Special Reports
Let's face it, with the U.S. unemployment rate forecasted to reach 10%, everyone is tuned into the job market. Even hot sectors, like nursing and pharmacy, are not immune. Today, the most content candidate is curious — curious about opportunities, curious about compensation, curious about culture, perqs, and benefits. Traditionally, the "curious" learned about your company through passive methods: advertising, networking, training, tradeshows. They didn't have the time (or interest) to attend job fairs or corporate open houses. The flow of information to this population was opportunistic and random. But what if you could change all that? What if you could reach out to passive candidates while controlling the message and shaping the interaction?
The rise of social networking has made it possible to do what was once thought impossible: to market to active and passive candidates simultaneously. Philanthropies and small business are leading the way — using sites like Twitter and Facebook to communicate directly with their constituents. Entities join a social networking site and create a "fan" page or profile. They use their profile to broadcast messages to their constituents, or "friends." Entities communicate their status directly to the people who are most interested, keeping them up-to-date and engaged.
Recruiters are adopting social networking as well. "We are entering a new age of candidate outreach," says Christine Hirsch, Principal of TalentEvent.com, a company that specializes in creating virtual, interactive hiring events. Static, one-way communications (websites that speak to you, not "with" you) are becoming a thing of the past. "The market favors dynamic, interactive outreach that can reach individuals who live their lives on-the-go," says Ms. Hirsch. Its not just the Millennial market that is using Facebook. Mature candidates, including CEOs and VPs, have adopted the technology. "Social networking is evolving into a necessary branding and promotions tool, for individuals and corporations alike," says Ms. Hirsch.
The evolution of online recruiting has also seen a migration toward virtual job fairs and open houses, as opposed to traditional in-person events. "People are so busy," observes Andria Germann, a pharmacy recruiter with Cardinal Health. "Its hard to take the time to devote to [in person] career fairs and events." Unlike in-person events which can last a day or two, virtual events take place for 4-6 weeks and run 24 hours a day, with a specific "live" day where real-time candidate chats take place. All potential candidates — including the curious — can visit the event and learn what your organization has to offer. Candidates often visit multiple times, logging on to view jobs or special presentations. Content is flexible. Employers can change the event look or message as often as they wish. And best of all, no suit required. All that you need is an Internet connection (even dial up) and a PC or mobile device.
In recruiting, developing a social networking strategy is becoming a critical differentiator. Companies that invest in interactive media are enjoying significant tactical advantages over companies using the Web 1.0 model. The former are interacting with a broader candidate pool of active and "curious" candidates. In the process, through regular — even daily — communications, they are developing the relationships to fill tomorrow's hiring pipeline. The game is no longer about creating a web page where the candidate can find you online, its about making sure that your message finds them and keeps them intrigued.
About RW Special Reports
Recruiters World Special Reports is a timely, in-depth news series that explores vital issues and trends affecting the human-capital industry. Published semi-monthly, Recruiters World Special Reports is presented and distributed exclusively through Recruiters World in Review. Visit the Special Reports archive to read previous articles. Watch for new articles as they appear on the Recruiters World home page.