Let’s face it recruiting is hard. As a recruiting organization, you are tasked with one of the most important (especially if you listen to any CEO) missions for your company: finding the people that will drive your business forward. Add on top of that you need to juggle a number of separate initiatives, hire for a diverse set of skills and abilities and are consistently asked to bring in the right candidates in as fast a way as possible and you have a tough job ahead of you.
Without a comprehensive strategy set out, it can be hard to keep your head above water in achieving your people goals. And it’s important that you think through your strategy and all the interconnecting parts to ensure you can successfully execute and measure it.
When you look at a comprehensive recruiting strategy, there are a number of initiatives that organizations need to solve in order to be successful. Here’s a look at some of the ones I hear most often:
Candidate Attraction: This all goes to advertising your positions to the right destinations. When you think through this initiative, it’s about identifying the best sources (for the particular job), determining the best messaging to entice candidates to take action, managing inventory and budget for all your sources and continually measuring each source based on performance (how much quality candidates does it provide?) so you can improve your recruitment mix.
High Volume: I break this out because if you have a few positions that turn over rapidly this is a big concern for you. For high volume, it’s a numbers game and while you want to hire quality people, the main focus is hiring enough to ensure you are covered for that particular position such as customer service.
The real focus here is not only attracting new candidates through your advertising but also ensuring you don’t start from square one each time you need to fill positions (which is nearly all the time.) So it’s key not only to understand the sources that can provide you with the applicant flow you need but also having a mechanism in place such as a Talent Network to capture candidate contacts through these campaigns. This can help you build pipelines of candidates that can help you stay ahead of demand and give you a first group to reach out to when you have the next opening helping to supplement your applicant flow before you even start your candidate attraction.
Candidate Development: Candidate Development is all around understanding the skills you need and having your team anticipate demand for these skills by creating relationships with candidates before and as positions open up. You are sourcing candidates that fit your needs and typically these candidates reside in “hard to fit” positions where candidates are in high demand.
For this initiative, organizations are focusing on sourcing and finding these candidates, determining workflows of how the team engages with candidates and determines skill-set, developing communication strategy to keep identified candidates warm and ultimately determining the right jobs to match up high potential candidates with.
Campus: Recruiting students at colleges and universities is an initiative many organizations have team dedicated to. And in order to achieve success, you need an intimate knowledge not only of the overall strategy but of the unique campus environments that you focus. When you think about process and technology there are a lot of areas to cover from student outreach and event sign-up, candidate capture at career fairs and events, hiring manager interview scheduling, college job board posting, post event engagement strategy and then the next steps once you take the hiring process off campus.
Employee Referral: This is all around how you leverage current and past employees to help you bring qualified individuals into your organization. The focus here is around how you communicate with employees, enable them to share jobs with their own networks and/or recommend connections, attributing and keeping track of rewards for successful referrals as well as providing them with the messaging and materials needed to communicate your company’s value.
Targeted Hiring (Military & Diversity): Before you say it, I know that Military hiring is a completely different initiative than Diversity but the key here is that you may have a number of different Targeted hiring initiatives that have a little bit of a different process and needs. These initiatives require their own dedicated resources and need content that is targeted toward these candidate populations.
Social: This will touch a lot of the efforts I talk about here but this is all around how you leverage social and the real-time data that exists through these channels. This is all about determining engagement strategy, producing and sharing relevant content, measuring job posts to these channels vs. all other sources, leveraging social data to better engage and stay up to date with sourcing contacts and create easier and better referrals among other things.
Mobile: Another trend that touches more than one of the initiatives listed here. Mobile is the way that people will engage with brands and other humans in the future. We see the figures every day but mobile is important to keep in mind not only for recruiting but in everything a company does. For recruiting in particular, we need to think about ensuring the candidate experience and apply process is mobile friendly, creating Career Site content that is mobile optimized, leveraging mobile to capture candidate information at events, using mobile and SMS to engage with candidates in an immediate fashion and having tools that enable users to continue to do work on the go.
International Recruiting: When you move your strategy and initiatives from the US to international locations, it’s never just a clean transfer but you really need to think about the needs, customs and unique environments of your international teams. This will often require some thought on how you implement tools and overall strategy. You have to sit down with your international teams and think through the sources and practices that help your organization recruit successfully.
Employer Brand: While this is a little hard to tie to performance measures, your employer brand can have a great impact on a candidate’s perception of your employment opportunities. You more than likely have a team or partner dedicated to creating your brand, managing you Career Site, building targeted content and landing pages as well as ensuring that the brand is consistent across social channels and to your marketing brand.
Candidate Experience: A growing focus for many organizations, this is looking through all your process, interactions and communication you provide to candidates. This is focusing on your apply process from job ad messaging until getting hired including your Career Site navigation makes sense, that you set reasonable expectations up front, your application process length is appropriate, your communication strategy adds value and that you solicit feedback from all candidates.
All these initiatives are part of a comprehensive recruitment marketing strategy and it’s important to understand where they fit, overlap and ultimately how they work together to help you attract qualified talent. And while different team members and resources are dedicated to each initiative, you need to be able to always tie them back to the core goals and strategy.
Where Technology Comes In
When you look at all the initiatives above, think about the technologies you use to accomplish it. If you are being honest, you are more than likely using 2-5 separate systems to execute these initiatives which represents your overarching strategy. And this doesn’t even include your ATS.
So the question here is WHY?
I think the answers lies somewhere in the following.
- You have a number of different groups that take ownership of each of the initiatives above. Each group needed a solution in order to better execute on the initiative and so they went and purchased a solution that worked for their specific needs without too much thought given to the overall strategy.
- Your organization made the best decision at the time from what was available. You chose the CRM, job distribution, SEO, social, mobile solutions you utilize today due to a decision you made a few years ago. And have needed to add on to these systems as new needs arose leading to using multiple solutions for different tasks and functions.
But now the question is if you made the right decision for your future needs?
Bringing Your Strategy Together
Let’s think about the initiatives above again. As you think about all of them into a comprehensive strategy, I think you would like to see the following things overall:
- Consistent Direction: You want to ensure that all of these functions and initiatives are pushing toward the same goals, understand the values that your organization champions and most importantly, intrinsically knows your strategy (i.e. knows where they fit in the big picture.)
- Transparency: With so many moving parts, organizations want to know what’s happening in each initiative, what their teams are doing to attract candidates and ensure that teams can work together and leverage key recruiting assets in the best way possible across initiatives.
- Insight: Here’s the big one but everyone wants to know what’s working and what’s not so they can improve their performance. They want to view these initiatives side by side and be able to determine how successful they are about bringing in quality talent. As you know, this is Analytics.
With disparate systems and silo-ed solutions it can be very difficult to do all three of these things across your strategy (or require lots of work). It may work for a specific initiative but gaining transparency and insight into the entire strategy is where it falters.
Total Recruitment Marketing
When you look at technology to help you achieve the above it’s integral you look away from the plug and place model of silo-ed solutions. It’s not sustainable or efficient and will ensure that your data is never where you want it to be.
What you may want to set your sights on is more comprehensive recruitment marketing solutions. And this is where the growing category of Recruitment Marketing Platforms come into play. They enable your teams to execute all the initiatives above from a single solution while providing accurate end-to-end analytics across the strategy to help you gain insight and improve your results.
We’ve seen this trend of overarching, comprehensive solutions before in recruiting / HR. Think of the Talent Management that are out there today. It makes sense and is something you need to consider when your next technology review comes up.