Justen is speaking in an upcoming webinar with SmashFly’s Chris Brablc on 3/23: The Sourcer’s Guide to Epic Marketing Campaigns.
I’ve been in technical sourcing and recruiting for more than 10 years: that’s a lot of Boolean searches, a lot of candidates, a lot of messages and a lot of reqs. It’s also a lot of lessons learned: what to send, when to send it, how to say it, why to say it, how to measure it, how to prove it. It’s turned me, in so many traits, into a marketer.
Today in recruiting, millennials are too savvy. People are too savvy. The response rates for software developers on LinkedIn is minimal; they’re leaving LinkedIn in droves. Why? Largely, because people don’t want spam. They want to connect with someone who gets them – who wants to provide them with something valuable, not sell them a job. Sounds like marketing, right? Well that’s our job.
Sourcing is all about not turning people off to your brand, getting responses and building a community that respects and trusts you. While it’s not a simple task, the sourcer of the future has the expertise – plus the technology to back them up – to make an epic first impression and nurture relationships with top talent.
Be a Marketer
You can find all the names and resumes in the world, but if they don’t respond, it’s all for nothing.Click to tweet
You can find all the names and resumes in the world, but if they don’t respond, it’s all for nothing. And they’re likely not responding because they aren’t seeing value or relevance in what we’re putting in front of them. Any good sourcer or recruiter needs marketing experience, or at least, employer brand and marketing-driven mind.
In the defense industry, we aren’t as mature in marketing – there’s a lot of reliance on agencies. But agencies don’t always know the industry as well those of us who live and breathe it, which is why building expertise in-house with creating messaging, building campaigns and A/B testing is critical. And the right technology helps drive that (more on that later).
It’s up to the sourcer to understand their audience, find relevant content (whether it’s an embedded link or a video of an F35), craft a compelling, value-driven message, then test that message for success in driving clicks, opens, responses and conversions. That’s marketing right there.
Campaign, Segment, Target
I know as well as any sourcer that we don’t have the time to craft individual messages for every single candidate we’re finding and connecting with. The key is to be able to segment your target audiences by relevant skills, qualities, demographics and experience, then tailor the message to that segment.
That dynamic segmentation takes a keen understanding of your audience and your open reqs – but it also takes a robust technology solution to execute.
I have used everything from Excel spreadsheets (not recommended) to basic to CRMs to SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Platform. The difference is similar to walking, riding a bike and driving a Mercedes. A basic CRM is a necessity – but pushing it one step further with a Recruitment Marketing Platform is the next-gen solution that will give you an edge.
That edge is intuition and customization to each sourcer. For example, I was able to set up folders and segment my database in terms of geography, branch of military, clearance level and more. I could set up overnight searches, future searches, scheduled searches, and then customize to run them every Wednesday afternoon, let’s say, because I could prove that’s what I was getting better responses.
Even further, being adept at segmentation and understanding targeting helps you run better campaigns in real-time. In SmashFly’s platform, I was able to create quick turnaround campaigns, where I could immediately segment anyone who responded into a folder to then share with hiring managers and recruiters immediately.
I think one of the most pivotal shifts in sourcing needs to be a focus on creating your own talent communities, then building relationships with those right contacts over time. This is fueled by sending a consistently right message and nurturing people content other than jobs.
Starting every single req from scratch is a waste of time and money. If you can intrigue your audience enough, you can offer them an alternative call to action than apply: to join your talent network. This way you build a database that you own (not fishing out of LinkedIn like everyone else) filled with warm leads.
A sourcer of the future is an expert at crafting a thoughtful, personalized message to make a valuable first impression. Then with nurture, they build relationships built on shared purpose and consistent, valuable communication. Relationships are the start of your own talent community.
Validate Your Effectiveness
We play a marketing role to find and attract quality talent; recruiters play a sales role to close the deal. And similar to marketers, metrics validate our existence.
With accurate analytics at our fingertips, we can prove the amount of work it takes to fill a job and get applicants flowing. Plus, we can showcase our marketing expertise by A/B testing campaigns, subject lines and messaging. Tracking efforts, understanding what drives responses and repeating what works is essential in proving your effectiveness (and helps you get paid!).
In the first year, I drove over 5,000+ brand new (mostly cleared) profiles to SmashFly from posting on different niche boards, tracked through UTM links. I ended up winning the top sourcer of my company, which was only possible through the metrics I could pull from a platform like SmashFly.
Own Your Tech … in One Place
Take a look at your browser. I bet you have at least 8 different windows open right now: job boards, social networks, different tools … all of which require different logins, different navigation and tons of time to move back and forth between. It’s time consuming and inefficient.
Without a one-stop-shop technology to find, attract, engage, nurture and convert top talent then measure all your efforts, I truly believe that sourcers are hindered. That means being able to log in once and navigate to every job board, build campaigns, check your response rates, look at contact records, segment target audiences and more.
The sourcers of the future have to be in charge of their own destinies – that means technology, leads, relationships, campaigns and data, all from one source. On top of that, it just makes day-to-day responsibilities so much easier.
Owning your day from search to writing messages to building campaigns to sharing contacts with hiring managers to tracking your success is an empowering feeling that builds expertise.