Editor’s Note: This post is by SmashFly Chief Sales Officer Scott Fowle.  You can read last year’s post on Why He Joined SmashFly here.

It’s been a great year! 12 months have passed since my first day at SmashFly and I love my job even more than on day one. The market is everything I thought it would be and more. We were right about what we wanted to accomplish and we did it! More and more companies are ready for what we do and we have a great plan for the year ahead. I want to share with you what we learned the past year, where we are headed, and what you should know going forward about recruitment marketing as well as the technologies that enable it.

 

1. We accomplished what we set out to do. 

Thank you for being a part of our journey! We had a fantastic year listening to our customers, prospects and the market. We asked about their recruiting, technology and business challenges as well as their goals. We educated and informed many business and HR leaders about how a truly unified Recruitment Marketing Platform like SmashFly’s can transform their hiring now and in the future.

And, we grew. Throughout the past year, we have continued to partner with quality brands. And, in the most recent quarter, we hit our highest quarterly sales in company history as a result of key customer wins and customers who have increased their investments with us. In fact, our most recent quarter represents a 263% year over year sales growth for the quarter!

Check out our press release for more details.

 

2. What we predicted is happening — and at a rapidly increasing rate.

We are seeing fundamental shifts in the search for talent. The old Quest for Talent was about getting people into the funnel. The ATS brought a place where people could look for jobs and apply for jobs online. As we all know, the ATS also tracked everything and enabled employers to narrow the talent pool using keyword criteria as well as screening questions. Eventually, the goal was for the process to deliver from that funnel the person you wanted to hire. Yet, all too often, everyone else who wasn’t hired stayed in that funnel without much contact in the future, if any at all. That hasn’t changed a lot over the years. Even so, the ATS still serves important compliance and automation functions.

The new Quest for Talent represents a fundamental shift. It is focused on attracting the pre-applicant, communicating with those in the funnel from the pre-applicant stage, and using real-time data for real-time decisions. Today’s world of recruitment is shifting to a focus on building relationships with pre-candidates and enabling them to learn more about a company as they explore job opportunities. They want to check out jobs when and where they want – even at lunch or coffee break – without the pressure to apply until they’re ready. They want to learn about departments, culture and teams. They want an experience that feels personal to their skillset, interests and devices. They want the power in their hands.

With these factors in mind, employers recognize that the ATS – yesterday’s innovation and today’s necessity – is not enough. Employers are looking for more. They want to do a better job attracting and building relationships with pre-candidate talent. They see the value of “always on” recruiting, accessible anywhere via mobile devices, and communicating with talent networks. They know that mobile and social media are keys to reaching people on the move and competing effectively for the right people in today’s highly-connected world. And, companies want meaningful, actionable data to make real-time decisions. They may not have the processes or technologies in place to do what they want with their current systems, but they’re looking.

 

3. There’s a lot of confusion in the market about potential solutions. Employers need to do more homework and dig deep during due diligence!

As a leader in talent acquisition, I’m concerned about employers investing in technology that they think is going to solve their challenges and then it doesn’t even come close. I’m proud of what we do and how we deliver business results. I believe a unified Recruitment Marketing Platform like ours is the answer for today’s world. Even so, I want share with you some thoughts as you consider what’s next for your company — before you make an investment in whatever you choose.

 

Don’t get lost in point solutions. And, you don’t need to toss everything out and start over.

You’ve most likely invested in point solutions to help you down the road of recruitment marketing. And at the time it was the right decision to go with point solutions because there was not a comprehensive platform available. Now is the time to evaluate what you’ve invested in, how the solutions have performed and where you want to be in the future. To accomplish this last part, you need to understand the market and decide if the solutions you’ve hitched your wagon to will help you grow into the strategy you envision for yourself. And, if they do not, you’ll need to determine what solutions can take you where you want to go.

 

Bolting on a CRM as a point solution is not enough.

It is fantastic that more and more employers are recognizing the value of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for recruitment, much like companies use in the sales process. The problem is that a bolted on CRM alone is not the answer. Adding a CRM tool to the front of the process to later feed candidates to your ATS will give you the ability to interact with pre-applicants. It won’t give you the ability to manage all of your sourcing, SEO and branding strategies across mobile and social networks nor multiple job sites and career site domains. It won’t give you full visibility into real-time analytics nor the ability to drill down to get the views you need to adjust strategies real-time.It will help you some but a bolted on CRM point solution will not give you the best results.

 

A blackbox that generates online reports is not the same as real-time, meaningful and actionable analytics.

Companies adopting our RMP solution do so because they want direct visibility into real-time data so they can adjust their sourcing strategies and spend in real-time. They want to be able to stop, start and adjust with the right information driving those actions.

Yet, it is all too common that technology solutions are sold with promises of a “blackbox” to magically weave together all they do in recruitment, with multiple inputs from multiple technologies, and then push out reports that will be valid and meaningful. When was the last time you heard something like this in the sales process and the solution failed to deliver?

The truth is you need to ask alot of questions today — more than ever. You need data that’s real. You need analytics that are current, interrelated, and actionable so you can adjust today. Data that’s 30 days old is just not actionable in the same way.

Think about it like this. In years gone by, you’d print a map with directions to get you from where you were to your destination. The information was static and did not allow you to adjust to anything unexpected along the way. With today’s GPS and online maps, you can jump in your car and get directions real-time. If there’s traffic, construction or something unexpected, you can choose a better short-term path on your own and correct immediately. In that way, you can make the best real-time decisions based on current facts in order to get to where you want to go.

That’s exactly what real-time recruitment analytics do for you. You’re able to adjust your strategies, tactics and spend real-time to get where you want to go — and get the best results.

 

What’s ahead for my second year at SmashFly?

As I look back, I am excited about how many companies embraced our Recruitment Marketing Platform and their successes so far. I can see already that it’s only getting better from here!

For the market, we see an evolution continuing as new skills begin to develop in recruitment teams driven by the need for a recruitment marketing mindset and expertise. We see Total Recruitment Marketing becoming a strategic differentiator for those companies that really embrace its power. Perhaps we will lead the way with a certification after a rigorous Total Recruitment Marketing education program built upon what we do today with our customers. We invite you to give us a call and tell us what you think!

I can say I’m excited by the next 12 months, the new companies we will help and the talented pre-applicants in the market who will have great experiences more and more often as Total Recruitment Marketing really takes off. Yes, we have a lot to do in the year ahead. We’ll be spending time with more companies, guiding them through the exploration of how to improve their employment brands, speed to hire and ultimately quality of hire through our Recruitment Marketing Platform. Our service and education teams will be helping our current customers continue to build on their great successes with our Platform, driving up their ROI to even higher levels. We’ll be working on advancing what recruitment marketing technology is and can be, as we will continually do.

And, we’ll be listening to you, even as we continue to set the course for strategic talent acquisition in the days and years to come. Thank you again for being a part of our growth and a fantastic first year for me at SmashFly!

I would love to share more of my vision with you and discuss what these topics mean for your business. It doesn’t have to be complicated and I’d be happy to help you where I can.

You can reach me at sfowle@smashfly.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

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