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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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Effective Recruitment Marketing Version 2.0

Part 2 of 2 (Part 1: The Evolution of Recruiters: The Nature Of Hiring Has Changed)

Buying in a seller’s market

In the first part of this series, we confronted the challenges facing recruiters in what has become a seller’s market. Unfilled job openings continue to impact employers -- complicated by a scarcity of needed skills -- and candidates command more power in choosing their next employers. Talent acquisition professionals can thrive in a seller’s market by making bold changes in the ways they connect with buyers and sellers. The transactional tactics of matching skills, work experience and compensation to job descriptions no longer bear the same fruits, especially among the younger generations of talent entering the labor market. Top recruiters can achieve and exceed objectives by perfecting a more marketing-centric approach.

More than marketing

Marketing, in an academic sense, blends art, applied science, behavioral psychology, research and analysis. Recruitment marketing, however, requires something more nuanced -- something visceral and personal. The institutional orientation of marketing principles matter, of course, yet human resource functions remain -- and must remain -- human processes. That is, our most successful techniques for engaging top talent will be those that speak to the heart. Consider customer loyalty.

What makes customers return to a company over and over again? Why choose one provider over another, when quality and cost are virtually indistinguishable? The short answer is brand: the company’s mission, the alignment of its core values with its customers’, and its demonstration of devotion to community, which includes society, staff and consumers. It’s the emotional connection that inspires patronage. The parent of a child with severe food allergies will always choose a store that caters to those needs, even at higher prices. Disabled customers will frequent establishments that have committed to making their experiences convenient and accessible. Environmental advocates purchase products from companies that emphasize sustainability. And these same connections and values drive the decisions of today’s job seekers.

High performing recruiters are realizing that their roles must evolve to encompass greater levels of interpersonal relationship building, engagement, sharing, collaboration and interaction. It goes beyond marketing, however. They are becoming Talent Engagement Specialists.

Recruitment marketing for Talent Engagement Specialists

Talent Engagement Specialists are thought leaders

The practice of recruiting, particularly in this market, is difficult enough. Finding fresh ways to attract candidates who are being courted by competitors, or leading passive talent away from their current roles, requires thought leadership. Promoting the job and conveying its exceptional qualities takes preparation, a deep understanding of branding and unparalleled expertise in the best practices of sourcing. The position must intrigue and inspire candidates by showcasing its rewards, opportunities and challenges. This is where thought leadership comes into play.

Elite recruiters immerse themselves in and help develop the talent marketing strategies of their clients, MSPs and staffing organizations. The most successful talent acquisition leaders study the market, the demographics that affect the regions they support, the needs of different talent groups and the industries they serve. Authenticity and insight are key. By becoming subject matter experts, able to answer any questions candidates may have, and by sharing thoughtful, relevant information with a large network of prospects, recruiters can build powerful pipelines of superior talent.

They create compelling, authentic and consistent messaging

In traditional marketing, one of the best ways to create a rewarding customer experience and engage new clients is to develop a cohesive strategy centered on how one wants to be perceived. The same holds true for effective recruitment marketing. Consistent messaging instills a feeling of familiarity when candidates connect with your social media, corporate website, hiring portal or other marketing properties. The image you want to engender should be reflected in your choice of words and tone of voice: casual, businesslike, humorous and so forth. This message should also be applied across all channels. Consistency is paramount in social media, where so many hiring decisions and recruitment interactions occur now, and helps build personal, one-on-one relationships. Before creating the messaging, skilled recruiters research their clients, open positions and candidate parameters to answer these critical questions:

  • Who are the people I should and will be talking to?
  • What language do they use in their natural conversations, and what words should I use to influence this audience or match their styles?
  • Where is my audience gathering and interacting: social networks, email, websites, photo-sharing sites, industry groups, etc.?
  • What motivates the ideal candidates for the positions I’m trying to fill?

They brand themselves

We talk a great deal about branding in the staffing industry these days. Staffing professionals concentrate on creating compelling employment brands that spotlight the values, culture, opportunities, innovations and rewards that differentiate employers. A company’s employer brand, according to LinkedIn, is twice as likely to drive job consideration among candidates.

Elite recruiters know that they too must have a brand. Not only do candidates want to ensure that their goals, passions and values match those of prospective employers, they seek the same from the recruiting professionals they’re trusting to curate the hiring process. They want to know that the talent acquisition specialists supporting them are knowledgeable, effective, collaborative, connected and ready to champion the talent and businesses they represent. A crisp recruiter brand helps establish trust and comfort with candidates. It demonstrates a comprehensive grasp of the culture and values inherent in the staffing company and its clients, while articulating the recruiter’s expertise in filling positions. Strong brands reflect:

  • The recruiting professional’s experience, qualifications and specialties
  • The types of positions and industries at which the recruiter excels
  • The recruiter’s accomplishments and record of success
  • The recruiter’s attention to the candidate experience and his or her advocacy

They don’t just construct pipelines, they build communities

One of the most essential elements in today’s revolutionary recruiting models is the focus placed on community, which we discuss in our eBook “The Next Talent Acquisition Revolution: Crowdstaffing.” In this structure, a global network of recruitment experts tap into the power of the crowd to source candidates and build an expansive private marketplace -- a talent community. Recruiters possess intimate knowledge of the geographic regions they cover, and specialize in filling specific job categories and skills. This translates to unparalleled service delivery from a dedicated team of individuals who understand the culture of the location, the business needs and goals of the local community, the local rate structures and the unique opportunities that exist for talent within their own neighborhoods.

Talent Engagement Specialists are the architects, coaches and “tour guides” for these communities. They don’t merely recruit by gathering details that will be used to match talent to employers when position needs arise -- they engage talent. In essence, the process becomes the curation of jobs: interacting with candidates, capturing and maintaining their interest, communicating job prospects, developing their personal brands and online profiles, and all other aspects of facilitating the placement process. By engaging job seeking professionals in this manner, the more academic aspects of recruiting occur organically as a natural outcome. And how do Talent Engagement Specialists sow the seeds that sprout into communities?

  • They determine the business objectives of their clients and the career goals of their talent, developing communities of meshing values that support both needs.
  • They make the candidate experience the foundation on which everything in the community is built.
  • Their communities, like physical neighborhoods, are hubs for socialization, interaction, shared experiences, knowledge transfer, lessons learned and making connections. Conversations flow and relationships are nurtured.
  • They target communications to their audience, using emails, social media, newsletters, career sites and other resources that are the most accessible, meaningful and preferred among their community members.
  • Their communities are open and welcoming to passive candidates. Elite recruiting professionals not only offer informative content that attracts job seekers from all situations, they enlist their community members as storyteller and ambassadors. They share information on career advancement strategies, personal branding tips, upcoming opportunities, client business cultures, employees, perks, compensation, innovations and more. And they work with community members to develop and curate these messages through a variety of media, including blogs, podcasts and videos.

In today’s workforce, the evolving role of recruiters is becoming even more important. Candidates aren’t attracted, sourced and recruited the same way they were a decade ago. And today’s talent have different motivators, more choices and greater leverage when considering prospective employers. Leading talent engagement pros are instrumental in redefining the nature of recruiting, transforming reactive processes into a proactive techniques that set their clients, MSP partners and talent apart.

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