How to begin with your digital recruitment strategy
The labor economy has long transitioned from a closed labor market to an open and mobile one, characterized by a restless workforce which is quick to jump to meatier opportunities.
High-performing individuals know that the conversation has shifted from “what can you do for us” to “what can we do for you.”
While the economy has changed phenomenally, some companies are still stuck using outdated recruiting methods and are struggling to attract and retain quality talent.
An effective way for such companies to reinvigorate their recruiting efforts would be to utilize digital recruiting tactics.
What is Digital Recruitment?
Digital recruitment is the process of leveraging technology to the source, attract, assess, select and hire candidates for vacant positions.
This includes leveraging job boards, career websites, mobile recruiting, online assessments, and social recruiting.
While most companies these days use at least one of the aforementioned tactics, they are still a long way from being classified as a digital strategy.
So, what are the different ingredients that make-up a digital recruitment strategy?
How can you spice up your recruiting stew by adding some nuggets of digital into it?
Let’s find out.
Evolution of digital recruitment
The metamorphosis of digital recruitment is a testament to how technology has revolutionized industries. Here’s a brief timeline::
Late 1990s – Birth of online job boards: Websites like Monster and Indeed ushered in a new era. Gone were the days of sifting through newspaper classifieds; job seekers now had digital hubs to find potential opportunities.
2000s – Rise of social media & LinkedIn: The introduction of platforms like LinkedIn added a networking component to the job-hunting process. Recruiters began to recognize the potential of social media channels not just to vet candidates, but to actively source and attract them.
2010s – ATS & AI-powered solutions: The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) became prevalent, helping companies manage and filter vast numbers of applications. Moreover, AI began assisting in sifting through resumes, predicting candidate success, and even automating preliminary interviews.
2020s and beyond – Virtual & remote recruitment: The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the importance of remote hiring processes, virtual interviews, and digital onboarding. The definition of the workplace itself has shifted, and digital recruitment strategies have become integral in this new era.
Why is a digital recruitment strategy essential?
Wider reach: Digital platforms offer a global reach, allowing companies to tap into talent pools they might not have access to through traditional means.
Efficiency & speed: Automation tools and AI algorithms can process applications faster, ensure positions are filled more rapidly, and reduce the time-to-hire.
Enhanced candidate experience: A streamlined digital process means smoother application procedures, prompt communication, and an overall positive impression of the company.
Data-driven decisions: Digital recruitment tools provide analytics, allowing companies to make informed decisions based on concrete data about their hiring processes.
Components of a successful digital recruitment strategy
Crafting a robust digital recruitment strategy requires a blend of tools, techniques, and approaches. Let us list them for you.
Job portals & social media: These remain fundamental. Optimize your presence on job boards, but also engage on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even niche community forums relevant to your industry.
Employer branding: It’s not just about the job listing; it’s about selling your company culture. Create content that showcases life at your company, testimonials, and success stories.
AI & automation tools: Utilize AI for tasks such as resume parsing, chatbots for initial candidate queries, and predictive analytics to assess the potential success of candidates.
Mobile optimization: With many job seekers using mobile devices, ensure that your career page and application process are mobile-friendly.
Continuous feedback loop: Regularly gather feedback from both successful and unsuccessful candidates to refine and improve the recruitment process.
Diversity & Inclusion: Make it a point to have strategies in place that promote diversity in your talent pool, emphasizing a culture of inclusivity.
Mobile-friendly careers website
Optimizing career websites for mobile might seem like an obvious thing to do, but surprisingly not many companies are doing it.
In fact, by 2016, only 19% of recruiters were investing in a mobile career website. (Source: Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016).
Optimizing for mobile is not an option anymore owing to increased smartphone adoption and usage.
Seventy-seven percent of job seekers check company websites to look for jobs (Source: Gallup State of the American Workplace Report 2017).
What happens when they open these websites on their phones only to find that the Submit button is not working?
Or worse still, their resumes are not getting attached, or any other such inconvenience which sets them back a few steps?
They switch tabs to some other website that works on their device. Result: your company just ended up losing a potential “stellar” candidate.
Companies must ensure that their careers website, landing pages, or any other digital resources are readable and work on mobile devices.
Incorporate digital recruitment strategy into every step
Examine your current recruiting process to see how digital recruitment tactics can make them more efficient.
For instance, if you have a long application process on your career website to collect information about candidates, see if replacing that with a quick LinkedIn import will reduce the bounce rate (the rate of people who leave a website after visiting it) of your careers page.
Alternatively, check if a video interview reduces the overall cost of the hiring process (saves the cost of flying in a candidate, accommodation, and other expenses).
Examine each step of the recruiting funnel – from sourcing to selection to studying how digital practices and technology can reduce the time or the cost involved.
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Leverage social media
There are many advantages to using social media for recruiting – starting from the quality of hire.
Employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over candidates sourced only through traditional recruiting channels. (Source: Jobvite)
It is also an excellent channel to spread brand awareness.
Nearly 80% of Millennials look for people and culture fit with employers, followed by career potential (Source: Collegefeed, March 2014).
Apart from scouring websites, millennials look to social media channels to gather more information about the company emphasizing the significance of optimizing your social media bio for better exposure..
All these factors make it crucial for companies to have a social recruiting strategy.
But with the wide array of channels available, which are the ones that a company should be using?
Take a look at the following sample social recruiting strategy.
You can see that the career site is in the center, being the most crucial, and contains job postings and landing pages.
All the other tactics are orbiting around it and have been prioritized and labeled as such based on the company objectives.
The first step to social recruiting is to create your own social recruiting universe and understand where your targeted candidates are present.
Create a recruiting strategy to engage and convert active and passive talent on these channels.
This can include job postings on LinkedIn, videos showcasing employee stories or company culture on YouTube, tweets about company awards or events on Twitter, and much more.
Image Source: Workology.com
Create social media accounts on channels actively used by your target audience and update them frequently.
Information on company culture, mission, values, people, and any other information that gives active and passive candidates insight into the company and what it stands for.
More is not always better
We have talked about the importance of having a digital presence.
It is commonly believed that the more platforms you are available on, the better it is for your digital recruitment.
While we understand the importance of being accessible, this has to be balanced with your team’s bandwidth. Digital is only a means to an end, it shouldn’t become an end in itself.
Otherwise, you will find your teams spending more time managing these online channels and less time actually recruiting talent.
Identify the top channels that work for you, and see how these can be used in a scalable way, to search, shortlist, and select candidates.
Customize it to your business
A company’s digital recruitment plan is as unique as the company and its goals. Something that might work for your competitors might not work for you.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of customizing the recruitment plan to a business and its goals.
If your competitors are using Instagram, for instance, examine if having an account on Instagram is truly useful for your business and communication plan.
If your target audience isn’t engaging on that channel, it’s best to skip it and save yourself time going through pictures of toes and colorful but inedible food.
Let’s take a look at another example.
Assume your standard applicant is not a millennial but a baby boomer; she might not be comfortable with interviews scheduled via text messaging.
Instead, she might prefer emails followed by a face-to-face interview, and not a video conference.
The combinations are varied, and only a company that knows its goals and target audience clearly will be able to create a customized plan that meets its needs.
Partner with technology
Any discussion on digital recruitment is incomplete without talking about the technologies that support it.
Recruiters can use a recruitment management system (if they’re not using one already) to post jobs on the website and multiple job boards, screen and rank applicants, and integrate with their human resource management tools for seamless operations.
Companies can use online assessment tools to identify high-performing individuals and screen them using convenient tests which can be administered remotely.
There are tools that can identify passive candidates or the ones who are not actively looking for job changes.
Companies that have traditionally relied on checklists of college degrees and experience to screen candidates are increasingly finding the approach redundant, not to mention time-intensive and one-dimensional.
Recruiting tools use sophisticated algorithms to assess innate capabilities while giving adequate weighting to the traditionally-important factors such as education and experience and help companies find smart talent.
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Put a bow on it
All these different tactics need to work in unison like a well-played orchestra. While digitizing your recruiting strategy, ensure that any change to the process is only making it more convenient for applicants.
Make the whole experience seamless for applicants – whether they access the website on a mobile, a desktop or their tablets.
They shouldn’t struggle with viewing company profiles or information, submitting applications or expressing interest of any sort.
It is best to use a similar theme on all the social media channels, with the same icons, banners, and company branding to aid quick recognition.
Ensure that the information is consistent across channels to avoid confusion.
For instance, if you announce openings for front-end developers on Twitter, but the careers website that you’re directing the users to was not updated with information on the opening, applicants are going to be left confused and would most probably turn away from the site.
Look to the future
Traditional recruiting has passed the baton to digital.
The time has come to adapt, to transition from dinosaur recruiting strategies to technology-backed modern ones.
By not utilizing these techniques, companies are not only letting go of an opportunity to attract quality talent but also relinquishing a chance to reduce the burden on recruiters.
Savvy candidates are evaluating you like they would when making purchase decisions.
So, companies that are not hitting multiple channels to catch their attention, engage them, and finally convert them with an easy application process will find themselves on the losing side of this battle for talent.
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