With February in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to think about the recruiting conference season. The next few months will provide organizations with precious knowledge and conversations to begin implementing important research, changes and improvements to their recruitment marketing strategy before summer vacations make it hard to get the team together to make strategic decisions (well, until after Labor Day).
And while there will be great thought leadership from fellow practitioners to learn at these events, one aspect I don’t envy is the vendor hall. If used correctly, the vendor hall can be one of the greatest opportunities for knowledge in the space but the shear number of competing messages, misused buzzwords and pushy sales-types can make it hard to get a clear picture of what’s available and important.
If I was a practitioner in the market for technology, I’d be confused too. So in order to cut through the noise, here’s my attempt to define and address the most popular buzzwords that exist in our space today as well as provide some insight into how technology attempts to address these areas.
Let the Buzzword Bingo begin:
Analytics & Big Data
What it is: The terms Analytics and Big Data are thrown around without discretion in today’s marketplace and it’s hard (if not impossible) to hear a technology product that doesn’t have analytics as part of it’s offering. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mobile recruiting app or larger recruitment platform, you hear about what it helps you measure in it’s big (or small) slice of the recruitment strategy.
However, when we talk about analytics and big data, it’s important to have the big picture in mind. Data is only as valuable as what it helps you learn and improve. That means capturing data across your entire strategy not just for certain initiatives. And most importantly, understanding the answers you are looking for. Big Data does not mean large amounts of data (although that can be the case) but looking at and bringing together data in interesting & useful ways.
Technology Considerations: When you talk to organizations about their recruiting analytics and/or Big Data solution, I would figure out the following:
- What does it measure?: What you are trying to gather here is what parts of your recruitment strategy does it help you measure (job distribution, mobile, social, sourcing, etc.) and conversely not measure.
- Does it capture data itself?: This refers to how it gets the data it measures. Whether that’s aggregating several data feeds from other systems or organically capturing it through their solution. This can affect the accuracy and capability of your data.
- Do you have access to all the data in real time?: Simple question but how much of the data do you own and how easily can you get to it to test assumptions and performance.
Supporting Articles: These articles should help in better understanding analytics and big data in recruitment:
- Do You Trust Your Recruitment Analytics?
- Big Data and Asking the Right Questions
- Actionable Insight doesn’t come from Data in a Silo
What it is: Mobile is slowly becoming integral to any business strategy and recruiting is no different. Recruiting is affected by mobile in a number of key areas:
- Apply Process
- Job Searching
- Candidate Attraction and Messaging
- Employer Branding
- Candidate Capture at Events and in-store
- Engagement through SMS
And for each one you need to think about and measure mobile’s impact. The key here is it’s not just apply (although important) but it’s how mobile impacts every stage of the recruitment process and how candidate’s interact with it.
Technology Considerations: For mobile, mobile apply is the big to-do among vendors and while important, it’s only one area you need to think about when optimizing your recruitment marketing strategy for mobile. Here are a few key areas of focus:
- Mobile Apply: A mobile friendly application for candidates can be important depending on your organization and strategy and there are a number of solutions out there that can provide this. You may also want to check with your ATS to see their capabilities in this area as well.
- Mobile Career Site: Before they apply, candidates should be greeted with a mobile optimized version of your Career Site when using a mobile device. The mobile Career Site should make job searching simple and provide the ability to capture candidate information via Talent Network Forms before they begin applying (mobile typically has high drop-off.)
- Mobile Capture: Not only should you make it a priority to capture mobile candidates during the apply flow but mobile is also a tremendous platform to utilize to capture candidates at events. Nearly every candidate has a mobile phone and leveraging the technology provides a superior alternative to collecting resumes and/or sign-up lists.
- Mobile Engagement: This is around how you engage with mobile typically through SMS. The use of SMS to communicate with candidates is growing.
- Mobile Metrics: With all solutions, you need to be able to measure mobile initiatives vs. your traditional channels so you can accurately determine the impact of mobile over your strategy.
Supporting Articles: These articles should help in better understanding mobile recruiting:
- Mobile in Recruiting: What Does It Mean?
- Mobile Candidate Experience: Career Site, Engagement, Apply
- 3 Essential Data Points for Mobile Recruiting
What it is: This topic is around leveraging social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn (not to mention Pinterest and Instagram) to better engage and attract candidates to your organization. This is beyond just posting ads to these channels but about leveraging them effectively to create better relationships with high quality talent. So that includes using these channels to post jobs, capture more information on candidates, source candidates, promote your employer brand, create a social Career Site, respond to candidate questions and much more.
Technology Considerations: When social recruiting comes up it’s typically around posting status updates to social profiles and while this can have value, you should look deeper than this. I’d recommend you’d look into the following:
- Social Recruiting Analytics: Do the solutions used for social recruiting measure the performance side by side next to my other channels such as job boards, Career Site, etc?
- Branding on Social Channels: How we can we promote our job opportunities using our existing social assets from Facebook Pages to LinkedIn Groups and Company Pages?
- Benefits over free tools: There’s a lot of free social tools out there that are great at helping you monitor connections, keep your content stream current and better engage with candidates. The key is understanding the value add of recruiting solutions for social outside of these tools. Side by side metrics is a good example.
Supporting Articles: These articles should help in better understanding social recruiting:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Social Recruiting
- Why Social Recruiting Fails
- Where Do Jobs Fit In Your Social Recruiting Feeds?
- Social Media Tools To Help Your Recruiting Team
Hopefully this helps you frame the discussions you have when you attend industry conferences. This will be a 3 part series with Part 2 coming out later this week.