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Crowdstaffing featured as Rising Star and Premium Usability HR platform in 2019

Crowdstaffing has earned the prestigious 2019 Rising Star & Premium Usability Awards from FinancesOnline, a popular B2B software review platform. This recognition is given out annually to products[...]

May 13, 2019

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How Think with Google Could Dramatically Enhance Recruitment Marketing

The world needs no introduction to Google. Across the globe, its brand signifies the most ubiquitous search engine the Internet has ever known. Google also offers businesses and individuals a wide array of useful products, such as Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Maps, YouTube and more. However, the company’s platform is more robust than some may imagine. There are services devoted to education, scholarly research, group collaboration, fine arts, virtual reality and a sort of “Slack Lite” social communications hub called Spaces. Recently, we even covered Google’s foray into the world of staffing with its machine learning API for hiring. At its core, though, Google is one of the world’s largest repositories of analytics. Some people may be familiar with Analytics, AdSense and Hot Trends. Yet its newer service, “Think with Google,” could be a hidden boon to recruiters who want to think like Google and drive their recruitment marketing to unparalleled heights. Let’s take a look.

Think with Google

Think with Google is the Internet giant’s reporting mechanism for best practices in digital marketing. Through hard data, the company provides fresh insights to a variety of channels, and explores upcoming trends. As Google explains: “In this world gone digital, the marketing industry is moving faster than ever before. At Think with Google, we bring together like-minded marketers to keep up with what’s new and what’s next in digital media and marketing.”

Subscribers receive the latest industry highlights, digital best practices, market research, thoughts and forecasts about the future. The site presents “micro-moments,” consumer behavior, video and mobile data for a variety of topics: advertising, consumer goods, measurement, programmatic, retail, search, sports and entertainment, and travel. So what does this have to do with recruiting? A good question. On the surface, Think with Google appears to target industries that deal in commerce and trade, or which primarily promote consumer brands. Think retailers, merchants, professional service providers or auto manufacturers. While that’s true, the insights are incredibly more universal.

Recruitment marketing is the current gold standard in talent acquisition. We also recognize that the gig economy has contributed to a massive decoupling of consumers and buyers. For example, the candidates we prospect are becoming more like consumers; we’re selling and they’re buying. Talent are beginning to view employers as clients, and those organizations are looking at workers as service providers. Given all these shifts, it’s easy to see how marketing insights from Google could be applied to enhance the efforts of clever recruiters.

A New Mobile and Measurement Mindset

Regardless of industry, anyone involved in marketing -- even recruitment marketing -- is planning for a future that’s increasingly more digital, mobile and data-rich. Based on joint research from Google and Ecosultancy, the most successful marketers are thinking across platforms (mobile and traditional) and using smarter measurement strategies to bolster growth.

“We know mobile has radically changed the consumer decision journey over the past decade,” Google explained. “Today, people seamlessly move between channels and devices -- from mobile to desktop to offline and back. As a result, our traditional rules and approaches to measurement no longer work. As marketers, we can't shy away from this new reality. Indeed, the leading marketers who are driving outstanding business results are those tackling these challenges head-on, and shifting their measurement mindset.”

The report determined three core attributes that optimal marketers share in this mobile-first world:

  • They focus on business metrics that really matter, such as bottom line sales and profits, instead of campaign metrics like clicks and conversions.
  • The employ new tools and estimates to bridge gaps in measurement across devices and offline channels.
  • They encourage experimentation to discover strategic answers for questions about potential opportunities.

Holistic Metrics

In the Google study, 95 percent of respondents agreed that KPIs must be tied to broader business goals. “Ad campaign metrics like clicks, impressions, and CPAs may be important, but in a mobile world they don’t tell the whole story,” Google observed. “Successful businesses are evolving their marketing KPIs to measure and optimize for strategies that drive the greatest business impact overall.”

For recruiters, measuring campaign engagement remains important, just as with other marketing-based businesses. Yet the same issues persist. Simply reviewing hits or applications from an ATS dashboard or job site fails to capture how mobile assets assist or influence actual placements. Consider this example from Google: “70% of smartphone owners who bought something in a store first turned to their devices for information relevant to that purchase.”

The same can be said of candidates. A significant number of job seekers, particularly Millennials, are turning to social networks and mobile apps to assess open positions, company cultures, employment brands and even the staffing firms involved. They’re also conducting more of their searches and interactions through apps and social networks on mobile devices. By studying mobile interactions, search habits and queries, recruiters can develop a keener sense of applicant needs, fits and what Google calls the “Is-It-Right-For-Me” moment.

  • Does the position’s description match the candidate’s career goals or aspirations?
  • Is the client’s company culture aligned to the candidate’s skills and behaviors?
  • Is the company committed to diversity?
  • Does the company promote accommodations for talent with special needs?
  • Are benefits, compensation and development opportunities appealing?
  • What is the ratio between shopping and applying?
  • What are the main sources or drivers that influence serious applications?
  • How much time and activity are spent on job boards versus mobile and social? What are the engagement rates and close rates between them?

Google found that across a variety of products, visual searches have increased 37 percent year-over-year. And 80 percent of those searches occurred on mobile devices. This is happening in the staffing sector, too. This May, we published an in-depth article on how video technologies are reshaping recruitment marketing. As social media expert Michael Stelzner revealed during Social Media Marketing World’s summer conference, 50 percent of marketers plan to rely heavily on video over the coming year. Not only that, more than 20 percent claim that video will become the most essential distribution channel for content.

More candidates and employers are using streaming video to showcase employment cultures, conduct interviews, engage talent and host virtual hiring fairs through webinars. By studying these trends and online behaviors, recruiters get a more comprehensive view of targeted metrics they can develop to strengthen their outcomes and predictions.

Bridging Gaps

Mobile has not only changed the customer journey, it’s altered the candidate journey as well. With candidates using a variety of tools and platforms to seek better employment opportunities, recruitment marketers must accept that gaps will exist in their ability to measure metrics across devices and channels.

“Instead of waiting, they focus on building reliable benchmarks and estimates, learning what they need, and using those estimates to take action,” Google pointed out. Leading marketers in the study were 71-percent more likely to analyze those gaps and transform them into trackable metrics. This process allowed them to test new approaches, form estimates and make informed decisions.

To illustrate, Google discussed how 90 percent of new car buyers conducted online research before ever setting foot in a store. For Nissan, this figure represented a huge gap in their understanding of consumer behavior. So the company shifted its focus to learn how search queries, social media and online site visits affected physical store visits. Nissan then used that data to tailor their sales strategies in a way that optimized customer experiences at their showrooms.

Gaps naturally differ by brands. Recruiters can increase their effectiveness by determining relevant gaps, analyzing them and then retooling methodologies to capitalize on them. Let’s create a sample scenario. You’re a recruiter at Company A, a leading technology firm. Your closest competitor is Company B. Both businesses use the same job boards. Both post through the same social media and mobile apps. Both have similarly worded job descriptions for the position. Virtually everything is same: reputable brands, great cultures, compelling incentives, competitive salaries, prime locations, in-demand clients and more. In terms of testimonials, each organization has inspiring videos of happy employees and stellar ratings on Glassdoor. Yet Company B’s submittal rates are much higher than yours. There’s a gap. Where is it?

Let’s also pretend that as you dig deeper, you discover that more people are visiting Company B’s online career site and staying there longer. You also see that while your company has a career page, it’s vague, uninteresting and simply redirects candidates to a job portal. Company B, meanwhile, has a career page with emotional accounts of diversity and inclusion, punctuated by life-changing stories about skills development, mentoring and advancement opportunities. That’s the gap. And by measuring the importance and traffic of career sites, you can help your organization make instrumental changes.

Experiment

If 2017 has a theme, it’s change. Top marketers sense this. That’s why Google found that standout marketers are twice as likely to conduct strategic experiments as their mainstream contemporaries: “The secret weapon for these leading marketers isn't classified business insights or cutting edge technology; it's their mindset.”

The best and brightest recruitment marketers are those who also have a sense of adventure, natural curiosity and a willingness to try new tactics. Exploring all the data available through a non-traditional source like Think with Google could be an excellent start. Consumer trends can predict hiring demand. Marketing research from organizations outside the staffing industry can inspire novel approaches for recruiters. Think with Google also has tools that are directly useful, such as Google Trends. Just for fun, I queried comparative search behaviors for Web Developer jobs and Data Scientist roles.

Between 2012 and 2015, Internet searches for Web Developers spiked between every August and September. That changed in January 2016, when those queries hit their highest levels after a noticeable decline. As far as Data Scientists, a slow and steady momentum has been building since 2012. However this January, a dramatic increase of 69.5 percent occurred. Not only does January seem like the hot new month for recruiting these position, a greater emphasis for data science professionals has emerged. That makes sense with analytics occupying a more prominent role in companies of all types.

The point is, we have more tools and more data at our disposal than ever before. And if we’re clever, inventive and willing to break outside the norm, we can create bold, disruptive and highly unique recruiting strategies that will redefine the future of staffing.

Sunil Bagai
Sunil Bagai
Sunil is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, thought leader and influencer who is transforming the way companies think about and acquire talent. Blending vision, technology and business skills honed in the most innovative corporate environments, he has launched a new model for recruitment called Crowdstaffing which is being tapped successfully top global brands. Sunil is passionate about building a company that provides value to the complete staffing ecosystem including clients, candidates and recruiters.
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