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Talent acquisition has been traditionally focused on the bottom of the funnel: apply. Every call-to-action is apply now or apply here. A majority of spend is thrust into job boards and LinkedIn. Social media and career sites revolve largely around job postings and job search. For most companies, apply may be the only call-to-action they offer a candidate. Of course talent acquisition teams need to focus on converting candidate leads into applicants―it’s what will fill job reqs. But what about the open positions next month or next year? There needs to be another focus: capturing interested, passive candidates and nurturing them for the future. Here’s why.


The importance of a talent network

SmashFly found that 74% of candidates who start the application process drop off before they complete it (SmashFly Platform Data, 2015). This means there needs to be another way interested candidates can opt in to learn more without completing an application: it’s called a talent network. If you don’t use a talent network form to capture these leads’ information, you are losing three-fourths of candidates who make it to your career site and recruitment marketing channels and were interested enough to start the apply process. You’re also wasting 74% of your recruitment marketing efforts, time and budget!


Candidates are like consumers

85% of candidates consider themselves passive. And just like consumers, candidates are researching your organization and making decisions long before they ever hit apply. Their assessment about your company and your employer brand is made in the top half of the funnel, in every touchpoint before they apply: through your social media channels, career site, Glassdoor reviews, job boards, events, mobile experience, referrals. If you’re not attracting and engaging them through these touchpoints, they will never be compelled to immediately click apply on your jobs. They’ll likely never even get to your jobs!

Think about it: The only way you are going to get an applicant in today’s hyper competitive and digital world is if a candidate is actively seeking a job AND has your organization top of mind AND finds the right open job AND has the time to complete the application. That’s a lot of stars aligning! Why not offer these interested, more passive leads a way to raise their hand and opt into your employer brand? Then when the right opportunity and timing opens up for both the candidate and your organization, you can nurture that candidate to convert because they have been connected to your employer brand. Without another way to opt in and show interest, you will never know all of the interested leads who made it to the point of your application process.


Focus on lead generation (the new talent pipelines!)

This new focus on lead generation aka talent pipelines means that organizations need to get their stories out earlier. Job ads aren’t enough! A career site with job listings isn’t enough! Candidates want to learn about the company before their “buying decision” – the vast majority aren’t ready to apply after only one touchpoint in most cases. It’s about building better relationships with the right candidates with compelling content so they can learn more about you. All so the next time you have an open position, you have a stable of interested and qualified candidates to choose from.


Right now, you’re losing interested candidates in your apply flow for one reason or the other. How are you going to make a change to learn who they are and nurture them with the information they need to convert on the right opportunity? This is the future of recruitment marketing.

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