Do you seem to always attract the wrong candidates?
Does it feel like you’re always getting left over candidates?
Do the good ones seem to be attracted to and recruited by your competitors?
It’s very simple… Recruitment is MARKETING!
So here are my 6 steps to Attract, Engage, Recruit and On-Board – let’s leave the retain bit for another day!
- 1. Attract – Employer Branding – Career Site
- 2. Attract More – Widen Your Advertising – Social Media, Free Job-Boards
- 3. Attract Your Own – Internal Hiring – Promote From Within
- 4. Keep Engaging To Close – Employer Branding
- 5. Recruit Smoothly – Modern Recruitment Software
- 6. On-boarding – Make The Offer And Close The Deal
Remember, no matter what problems you’re having in the recruitment process, you’re not alone – there are so many professional and hardworking HR teams out there, who still don’t seem to get it right!
To me the problem is one or more of these; the employer of choice brand is not strong enough, there’s a failure of the overall process, or the technology platform powering the process is not working. The result is the employer can’t be competitive enough to attract, engage and finally signup the good candidates.
This article helps to see the bigger picture for your entire recruitment process, enabling you to figure out what pieces are missing in that puzzle – if any!
1. Attract – Employer Branding – Career Site
- Have a modern and functional career site that reflects a competitive employer of choice branding
- Make sure your website is optimised for mobiles. Over 40% of job searches are conducted from mobile devices. And worse, the majority of interviewed candidates said they would think negatively about the brand if the site didn’t work on mobiles!
- Make sure that your competitive career site stays competitive i.e. your career site remains up to date – CANNOT stress this point enough – the biggest problem here is that it’s normally too hard to update the site – too many people to ask and go through – and that’s typically because the site doesn’t have a friendly CMS (Content Management System) or there’s too much politics and not enough collaboration between HR and Marketing.
- A good SEO for your Career Site is very important too – so you come up well on the Internet when a candidate is testing your employer branding presence i.e. how and where do you show up on Google?
- Checkout this career site, it’s a great example of a case when HR and Marketing work together to create a real career site – I mean a real one: http://careers.synlait.com/
2. Attract More – Widen Your Advertising – Social Media, Free Job-Boards – Cast Your Net Wider By Using A Modern Job Multi-Posting Tool
Traditional Online Recruitment Advertising is still paramount in many countries and regions – in Australia for example, more than 75% of all applications still come from Seek. Different job-boards are stronger and effective for certain job categories but they’re not effective in others. Having a multi-posting tool allows you to place the right job on the right site, but without spending hours copying and pasting.
Also using social media is so important – build good social media channels and candidate communities and share your jobs to these channels. Remember not to burn them though – try to be relevant as much as you can – don’t push any job to the wrong audience on social media – be smart, be relevant and you can win big time on social media and save lots of money.
Consistency in recruitment advertising is essential – big agencies like Adecco for example, regularly audit their ads for any lack of consistency and they take this matter very seriously.
High conversion rate – from a job ad view… all the way to a completed job application. Attracting good candidates to your job advert (or a teaser on a social site) is vital, but of equal importance is to make sure that the people that read your ad, actually continue through and complete the application process – conversion ratio.
This means that your application process has to be relevant and the technology has to be slick, smooth and modern and it has to work on mobiles.
Social profiles as alternative to resumes – Providing options to apply with social profiles (Apply with Seek, Apply with LinkedIn, Apply with Facebook etc.) is an example of slick, smooth and modern tech for an application form – as is the option to upload a resume directly from cloud storage sites like Google Drive and Dropbox. Such smart tech, that provides clarity and convenience to applicants… can only reinforce for the candidate that they’re applying to a job with the right company.
3. Attract Your Own – Internal Hiring – Promote From Within
What’s your internal hiring target?
Has your organisation conducted a study on what’s the perfect balance of Internal vs External recruiting that would be ideal for in a particular year?
Same rules apply even to your employees – attract, engage and signup. Branding, tech and your leadership should be deployed to engage and impress candidates (employees in this instance) with visibility, keeping them informed and to encourage follow ups.
Also, tech has to work – have an advanced and responsive internal job-board on your intranet and let your employees know about it.
Communicate to your employees the existence of your internal job-board, which should preferably be an entire career site dedicated to the “promote from within” initiative in your organisation, and then promote it in different clever ways.
A good example of this was from one of our clients, a multi-site public company with over 4,000 employees. The HR team over there went to every physical notice board all around the company and pinned an A4 Advertisement on each one. These drew attention to the internal job-board and spelled out how employees could access it from the company’s Intranet.
Make sure your tech is able to track the internal applications vs the external ones, and is capable of providing the ratio of both in your reports.
4. Keep Engaging To Close – Employer Branding – Communication Templates And A Professional Approach
Congratulations! Almost half the battle has been won!
Well, to get to this point, we have to assume that:
- You’ve attracted good calibre candidates, because you did a good job promoting your employer brand, as well as promoting you vacancies (hopefully internally and externally).
- You’ve converted some of the views into applications – So we assume that your entire application process was so attractive, smooth and professional, that some of those strong candidates you’ve enticed to your vacancy, kept going and completed an application.
Ok, so now you need to make sure that your comms with those applicants are professional, branded, personalised and faultless – this is the engage, keep engaging, keep reinforcing part – you don’t want to lose good candidates during your recruitment conversion funnel! Please take on board a few tips:
- Acknowledge the application: “Thank you for applying” – “We appreciate your interest” – “We appreciate your time” etc.
- Visibility and keeping them in the loop – let them know about the process and what’s going to happen next – “OK, this is what’s going to happen now…”
- Technology can help in keeping all applicants informed now matter how busy you are – there is nothing more unprofessional, than keeping people in the dark – just like a rock that falls into an endlessly deep well, that’s so deep that you never hear the splash noise – so a modern Applicant Tracking Software will allow you to have branded templates ready to use. Also a good ATS can trigger branded and personalised emails, to get automatically sent to candidates, who are then moved onto certain stages of the recruitment process.
5. Recruit Smoothly – Modern Recruitment Software That Ensures Your Processes Are Faultless And Professional
So I hope that you can see what I’m trying to summarise for you in here – I say summarise because I’m very confident that you know everything and more about what I’ve already explained in detail – but perhaps this is good reminder that will help you to see the big picture, and so enable you to identify the weak links in your recruitment process.
So here’s my checklist:
- Attract candidates by having excellent employer branding.
- Attract candidates by having professional, smart and consistent job advertisements on job-boards and social media.
- Increase your “ad view” to “application” conversion ratio, by having a mobile-enabled and slick application process.
- Engage the candidates who have just applied, by letting them know what’s going to happen next, using modern and slick communication messages such as branded and personalised emails.
- Use a modern ATS that will help you to quickly assess all applications, to get back to people who aren’t successful as well as the ones you do want to shortlist.
- Produce a short list and share it with hiring managers and executives.
- Good recruitment technology will help you to collaborate with colleagues in the business (HR, hiring managers and exec’s) to build consensus on a candidate for a job.
- A good Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will help you to schedule interviews with the right candidates before your competitor does.
- Good Applicant Tracking Software technology will also help you to close the deal by continuing to engage the candidate, keeping them in the loop, every step of the way.
OK, now this is a quick question for you – what’s the thing a good candidate wants to see or hear once they’ve completed the application for a job? Answer: “Thank you for applying and here’s what’s going to happen now” – yes!!! Transparency, professionalism, keeping them in the loop.
Your communication emails, (perhaps SMS, or any form of communication you send to candidates) now need to be very professional and on the ball to maximise candidate engagement. Your comms with candidates who just applied should look slick, be personalised, include the corporate signature, be error free and must be delivered in a timely manner.
Modern and Good Applicant Tracking System – And so this where technology can play a huge role – good and modern Recruitment Software will have perfect templates for every step of your Recruitment Process – Professional and personalised templates that are ready to be customised and send in seconds – this is how you can be very busy and still get back to candidates, just at the right time and also in a professional manner. This way, you can engage good candidates and compel them to continue through the recruitment process till the end.
6. On-boarding – Make The Offer And Close The Deal Professionally And Swiftly
Modern and paperless on-boarding software will impress candidates, ensure the contract gets signed and crucially reduces your risk of drop-offs.
- Automated on-boarding software will allow you to seize the opportunity and have a signed contract on your desk… before the candidate has a change of mind, or another recruiter tempts them to change it.
- Having a paperless On-boarding process that the candidate can interact with, even from a mobile, can only reinforce the message that they’ve made the right choice and so they will complete the process and sign the contract.
- Digital signing makes you stand out and would help you beat your competitors to a signed contract from the best candidate.
- Continuing and completing the process quickly and efficiently means that your drop off rate is now lower. Losing a candidate right at the end of the recruitment process and just before they sign your contract is not an exercise that too many HR teams can afford!