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It’s time to modernize your talent acquisition strategy with recruitment marketing tactics that will help you find, attract, engage, nurture and better convert top talent. But, you can’t do it with your ATS alone―it needs a technology partner.

SmashFly’s Chris Brablc and CDW’S Rick Rosario discussed why and how a Recruitment Marketing Platform is integral in a successful recruitment marketing platform in our latest webinar sponsored by OHUG, “The ATS Alone is Not Enough.” Here, Chris and Rick answer all the great questions they didn’t get to during the webinar.


In terms of analytics, what are you specifically tracking and using in your decision making in your talent acquisition strategy?

Rick: It started very specifically in understanding our marketing mix. We wanted really great tracking into where we were getting our best return on investments in our advertising, on either job boards or PPC campaigns, etc. What we found as we started utilizing our sourcing business process with SmashFly is that we could also get pipeline metrics, which were super informative for us in terms of how much prospecting and sourcing it took to get enough prospects for hires. We hope to start really looking into the source of influence: How are our candidates behaving before they apply?


What were you doing before in terms of analytics before using a Recruitment Marketing Platform (RMP)?

Rick: At CDW, we were capturing and collecting data from several different systems, including our ATS and job distribution solution, which took a lot of time, especially for data pre-application. While I wouldn’t say that we lacked confidence in our data from our ATS (Taleo), it took a lot of time to collect, and we didn’t have the full picture into our strategy from view to hire. An RMP enabled us to get more granular with our data, ensuring that any new source codes we created in Taleo were properly passed from our recruitment marketing campaigns. SmashFly also provided us with insight into what was happening pre-application in real-time and helped us be more strategic in how we used our budget, channels and strategies to attract and convert candidates to apply.


Can you explain Talent Network forms? How are they displayed, and what value do they provide to CDW?

Rick: The talent network is displayed as a small window the pops up right before you hit the application. It should feel seamless; a few data fields to fill out before the application in case the candidate doesn’t end up completing the entire application or proceeding at all. The talent network form basically sets everything into motion in our nurture program. If we found you at a career fair, and you filled out a talent network form that had a data field for where you came across CDW and what jobs you were interested in, we then can send you targeted emails with content around other events, specific projects related to the type of job and more relevant job alerts. They are really the anchor for all of our customized nurture workflows.

Chris: On average, 60% of candidates that start the application process fail to complete it. That represents a huge missed opportunity to talent acquisition organizations. Talent Network forms in the apply flow provide an option for candidates to opt in if they are not ready to apply and allow organizations to capture information and build relationships with these passive candidates. Once a candidate opts in, we can learn more about these “passive” candidates through email and SMS to nurture them and, if done right, convert them into qualified applicants and ultimately hires. The talent network form really allows you to capture more targeted pools of talent based on what they are interested in, so you can build your own database of talent to have at your fingertips for jobs tomorrow, next month or even next year. As Rick said, they are the anchor to how you customize communication and workflows to nurture these candidates with content, emails, events and jobs relevant to them, so they will stay engaged with your organization.


What does your team look like to manage both an ATS and RMP?

Rick: We have full lifecycle recruiters that engage with our RMP, SmashFly. Some of our recruiting teams have sourcing recruiters, who don’t touch the ATS; they do all of their work in SmashFly. They are going out and aggregating leads and sending them Talent Network forms; recruiters from there engage with the leads. Our recruitment marketing team develops the marketing campaigns and drives content through SmashFly. Our functional recruiting leaders have overall responsibility for utilization and business process design in both SmashFly as well as Taleo.


What were the largest problems/gaps you had before investing in an RMP?

Rick: I am responsible for a high volume recruiting team and a niche recruiting team at CDW, so my biggest problem was understanding how much sourcing it took to find applicants. We really needed to know not only the raw numbers, but also where we were getting our leads from in the very top of the funnel, pre-apply. I was blindly resource planning and blindly advertising for prospects and leads, which we were trying to manage on a spreadsheet. It’s really tough to make informed decisions or be predictive without the kind of data and insights we get from the RMP.


How important is the data you capture to talking internally with your business units?

Rick: Before having this data from SmashFly, we were just talking about recruiting metrics, like time to fill or interview to hire ratios. Those metrics are important, but with this data now, we can talk to the business about business problems and how we can solve those problems by being smarter about hiring talent. Take the expansion market example: We need to know everything about a market before we set up shop. One of the biggest investment companies make in a new location is talent―what it takes to find talent and make the right hires. We can show up with data now that is insightful and informed to make these business decisions.


From a recruiting domain perspective, what is the core value you find with recruitment marketing in helping your team meet hiring demand?

Rick: Recruitment marketing is an evolution in our pre-applicant talent acquisition strategy. We have always done traditional sourcing of candidates to help identify and find potential candidate leads to fill our open requisitions, but recruitment marketing has helped us be more strategic in how we use our just-in-time recruiting for open requisitions and also make sure these efforts build relationships with the right skilled talent that can help fill future jobs. For me, this is incredibly important. I lead our efforts for high volume sales organization and leveraging our marketing channels to build our own Talent Network has helped us better meet hiring demand more quickly. Just as important, it’s enabled us to accurately set expectations and anticipate demand, as we build out our strategy to better allocate resources and team members to be a more strategic partner to the business.


What does CDW do for mobile today?

Rick: We have a mobile-optimized careers page and job search, which is supported by SmashFly. Once they find a job that they are interested in, they click apply and are passed to the appropriate mobile application in Taleo. As with our traditional career site experience, talent network forms are included directly in the apply flow for a full mobile experience, as well to capture candidate information prior to the application process.


What types of content do you provide candidates pre-application? Post-application?

Rick: We use content at all stages of the candidate experience to educate candidates on opportunities available at CDW. And while I wouldn’t say we are fully-formed here, we are making tremendous steps in developing and curating content for talent acquisition.

For the pre-application candidate experience, we use content such as employee overview videos, career site landing pages, email newsletters, job advertisements (yes, these are content), targeted job alerts, hiring process FAQs and our CDW Careers social channels, among others, to engage and inform candidates on our employer brand, culture and the hiring process. The key here is that some of this content is built by our talent acquisition team, but we also have a very strong relationship internally with marketing to leverage a lot of the content they produce to share with candidates.

In the post-application stage, we focus on our email campaigns and ensuring we get back to candidates in the process first and foremost. We also send content like our Glassdoor rankings and awards for candidates with an offer from us. We’ve put a lot of work on building our Glassdoor presence and have won awards as a “Best Employer,” so we will ask candidates considering other companies to compare our ratings, which has been very successful in ensuring acceptance and reducing the number of no-shows on their start date.


Does SmashFly integrate with multiple ATS systems?

Chris: Yes. We are ATS agnostic. We have customers working with a number of different of ATSes and can integrate with any and every ATS you may use.

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