The US has seen a steady rise in employment rates over the past seven years, with unemployment sliding to just 3.9% last July. The Business Standard reports that this figure coincides with an additional 157,000 new jobs created for workers across the country.
While this is good news for employees and jobseekers, these numbers pose a challenge to recruiters, who must now increasingly think like marketers to be able to attract top talent. Jobs are now products they must sell to a skilled workforce that has the luxury of choice, and this battle is definitely an uphill one. As ever younger and more tech-savvy Americans continue to join the labor force, it is necessary for recruiters to keep up with trends to succeed in this field. With this in mind, here are some of the top trends in marketing to help improve your company’s recruitment process.
Branding has long been an important marketing concept in the world of recruiting, and it is something that has been emphasized time and time again. After all, you can’t expect top talent to want to work for a company whose character and values are conflicting with theirs – or worse, unknown. It is for this reason that digital marketing and content specialist Joanne McDonagh claims that 75% of jobseekers consider an employer’s brand before applying, while recruiters see an average of 43% decrease in cost per hire.
Much has been said about utilizing communication channels to show potential candidates what it’s like to work in your company, and what values your leaders stand for. However, one crucial part of employer branding that is often missed is the candidate experience. This term refers to former, current, and future candidates’ overall perception of your organization’s recruitment process, and it can affect your hiring, referral, and even sales.
One such example of the detrimental effects of not paying attention to candidate experience is the case of Virgin Media, which lost a shocking $5.4 million annually due to bad interactions with prospective employees. Aside from losing potential talent, the company suffered from lost sales from ill-treated applicants, their families, and their peers. The takeaway from this experience is that every customer interaction – even when done by an operation that isn't focused on sales such as recruitment – is crucial for company performance. Be sure to train your recruitment teams on how to conduct good interviews and listen to feedback from your candidates on how to improve your recruitment process. This way, you promote healthy employer branding among your candidates and their network, no matter the results of their application.
Renewed focus on social media
Social recruiting is gaining popularity at an exponential rate, because of social networks’ ease of use and their everyday prevalence among millions of Gen Y and Gen Z candidates. Moreover, social media networks such as Facebook have been experimenting with more aggressive recruitment platforms, making social media an important vector for recruitment communication.
One company making great use of social media is Microsoft, which actively engages with millions of social media users on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The tech giant has made a name for itself online with constant event listings, photos, videos, and useful content – even branching out to a second Facebook Page called Women at Microsoft, to promote women getting into tech careers. Not only does this move create better employee branding, but it also allows them to enjoy thousands of likes, comments, shares, and most importantly, job applications.
To be able to make the most of your company’s social media platforms, conduct research on which networks your target candidates are active in, and the sort of content they respond to. Focus on providing quality content that adheres to these findings, and be sure to showcase your employer brand well. Make use of employee testimonials, event photos, videos, and thought leadership posts in your industry. Don’t be afraid to jump on newer platform innovations such as live video and 360° imagery, and to make use of additional advertising services such as Facebook ad targeting and Twitter promotions. On their marketing page, Maryville University highlights how digital ad spending has surpassed traditional advertising spending. This number is set to grow to $335 billion by 2020 and reveals an overwhelming trend among companies looking to promote themselves in the digital landscape, today’s primary channel of communication.
Leveraging human capital analytics
Last but not least, it’s important to leverage human capital analytics. Recruiting Daily reports that high investments in human capital analytics have led to higher sales growth and an impressive 85% higher sales per employee rate. That’s because today’s data-driven world provides countless opportunities for recruitment teams to boost employee productivity and motivation, as well as to reduce turnovers. And if your company has yet to take advantage of human capital analytics and are unsure of where to start, don’t worry — as we have covered it before on the Yoh blog, and you most likely have the basic tools needed. Most HR departments are equipped with systems for storing employee and candidate data. All you need to do is to organize, integrate, and analyze all this information to provide actionable solutions for your recruitment problems.
This is something that Opower’s talent acquisition team of 14 HR professionals and one analytics specialist understood. Using Bersin’s talent analytics maturity model and lots of hard work, Opower recruiters began the painstaking process of using metrics to solve recruitment problems or predict patterns. Their goal was to work smarter, not harder, hiring some 200 individuals every year, and to improve quality of hire and retention rates — a target they were able to achieve successfully within two years.
When working with HR analytics, it’s important to always define your key performance indicators as a team and to set measurable goals. Look towards using data to improve policy, showcase candidate insights, and tweak recruitment processes to improve quality of hire and retention rates. In line with this, be open to changing longstanding processes, as long as there is data backing up your decisions.
About the Author: Allison Crest is a digital marketer by profession based in the beautiful city of San Francisco. An aspiring writer with a passion for all things tech, Allison enjoys cooking and visiting the beach.