‘I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now’. Joni Mitchell
One of the leading publishers of special-interest content and research, Raconteur, recently reported that the cloud had gone from a ‘misty concept to a solid platform essential for growth and stability in a global economic climate still coughing and spluttering its way out of recession’.
So as recruitment or HR professionals looking to attract the right candidates and staff for your business what do you know about the benefits of using the cloud, but more importantly what do you need your prospective candidates to know?
The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) are clear that cloud computing enables businesses to run their IT more effectively and cost efficiently. The technology news website, Silicon Angle, for example, recently reported that despite the technology only being around a short while, 80% of businesses surveyed said they had saved money by moving to the cloud. Raconteur says that ‘businesses at all levels are now experiencing cloud technology as a powerhouse for developing new strategies, forging closer ties with customers and tapping into the expertise of employers and partners.
The growth of cloud technology appears to have benefitted the recruitment industry in many ways. With the implementation of emails, job boards, recruitment software and file sharing, cloud technology has ensured recruitment professionals are more streamlined than ever before. For example – before the year 2000 only 20% of job applications were submitted via e-mail or online, yet since 2014 this is now over 90%. E-mails, typically used to confirm interviews, arrange meetings and receive CVs are now a vital form of communication, enabling business to connect with candidates, clients and suppliers more quickly and effectively. Host services such as Dropbox enable recruiters to keep files safe, synced and easy to share or edit on the move, and even out of office. Instant messaging technology such as Skype, MSN and WhatsApp are also used for daily activities such as internal communications, video interviews and screen sharing with candidates and clients to view documents.
It therefore seems that the key benefits of cloud technology listed by the IIA as far back as 2011 remain pertinent:
• Cost management: Businesses can scale back capital investment in new IT and ongoing maintenance of old equipment which helps reduce waste and overcapacity,
• Agility and availability: The capability to source and develop services rapidly in order to streamline operations. Deploying new equipment in hours and adjusting ‘bandwidth’ in minutes, means that marketing actions that previously needed lengthy lead-in times can be achieved almost immediately – leaving the main focus on managing costs and expectations.
• Scalability: Cloud services can be adjusted to accommodate changing levels of demand.
• Efficiency: Outsourcing IT management means businesses can concentrate on their core skills and development needs – enabling rather than limiting innovation.
• Resilience: As data centres mirror each other across geographical and economic boundaries, the cloud offers almost unlimited disaster-recovery options.
So what about the risks? In May 2015, the Sunday Times published an article titled ‘Cloud of mistrust in the air’ suggesting that while storing data in the cloud provides an essential solid platform for business growth and stability in an economic climate still struggling its way out of recession, many business leaders still remain sceptical about security. A number of security concerns were cited including; integration with existing IT, legal and regulatory compliance, loss of control, data loss and leakage, denial of service attacks, unauthorised access and malicious insiders.
When it comes to risk however, the cloud provider Tomoly quotes recent research by the Cloud Industry Forum, pointing out that while 61% of senior business decision-makers expressed such concerns over data security, only 2% had actually experienced a cloud-related security breach. This they suggest shows that businesses are in danger of not only missing out on the budgetary benefits of the cloud but may actually be less secure than had they actually migrated there. The security provider SecureData also argues that too many businesses are guilty of an overinflated view of their own capabilities where the on-premises server room is often seen as inherently secure in a way that virtualised servers cannot be. Such a mindset of ‘cloud equals danger’ appears to be as outdated as it is misguided.
Peter Tomlinson, director of BangIT Solutions in Sydney, adds more on data security and choosing the right cloud provider for your company and locations, ‘one of the major considerations is around data sovereignty and how different legal jurisdictions affect data security and third party access. Knowing who can see your data and to what basis is central to managing your risk, especially for recruitment organisations where candidate and client information is paramount to your business. You should ensure that your cloud provider can make guarantees about where the data is held, and this should also satisfy local compliance laws.’
According to the Raconteur author Dave Winder, ‘when it comes to security the cloud changes nothing, as the broad brush strokes of a secure business environment remain the same no matter where the canvas is hung’. He offers a useful acronym – ATMOSPHERE – when looking at how risk can be controlled.
• Accreditations – check your provider holds the internationally recognised standard for information security – ISO 27018.
• Tools – doing your research will reveal numerous tools available to remain secure during a cloud migration.
• Monitoring – regularly monitor and audit any externally provided service.
• Onus- contractually agree responsibility areas between organisation and provider.
• Specialise – use the cloud provider that specialises in your sector.
• Policy – follow policy-based separation of duties when migrating data to prevent privileged status abuse.
• High availability – build this into your cloud infrastructure together with secure back-up and recovery.
• Environment – know where your data is being hosted and stored.
• Risk – audit the sensitivity of your data and the requirements for access.
• Encryption – use encryption keys that are unique to specific jurisdictions and controlled from them.
As cloud computing will no doubt continue to evolve in the future it will be interesting to see how else it will revolutionise business, and whether the benefits increase and the risks reduce even further.
For more information on moving your business to the cloud, please get in touch with Recruitment Marketing Group today. We have worked with many recruitment organisations from one-man bands to international recruitment firms to offer the very best advice and solutions.
‘A passive candidate is a qualified candidate for employment who isn’t necessarily looking for work, but who may be interested if the right job comes along.’
Alison Doyle, ‘About Careers’
It may be considered a cliché but the old maxim ‘it’s easier to get a job when you already have one’ actually contains a lot of truth especially for employers looking for candidates with very specific skills and experience.
Recent research undertaken by LinkedIn suggests that more than three-quarters of the world’s fully-employed workforce consider themselves passive candidates. The data show that only 25% of the workforce can be considered as actively looking for a new job, of which 13% may only be looking casually. And while 15% of working professionals indicate that they are completely satisfied with their current job and do not want to make a move, another 15% have indicated that they regularly and ‘surreptitiously’ talk to their network, while a further and massive 45% are ‘totally open to considering a new opportunity’ if they were to be approached by a recruiter.
This means that if 85% rather than 25% of the workforce are receptive to hearing from you about relevant new job opportunities, it may be time that you re-thought your current recruitment strategy. Passive candidates may not be actively looking but their receptiveness to considering relevant openings creates a huge recruitment opportunity if you want to find the best person for your job.
According to Recruitloop, the simplest reason for seeking out someone who is not actually looking for a job is that people with exact skills needed are often hard to find. And by the time you do reach them the timing is often such that they have already found someone else. Targeting passive candidates is especially relevant when you are looking to fill a role with someone who has very specific abilities – who best matches the skill set you are looking for.
Recruitment professionals have discovered that there are five key factors about passive candidates that need to be considered in order to effectively reach out to them. They have been shown:
•to be 120% more likely to want to make an impact within an organisation,
•to care more about employer branding and corporate culture. Studies have shown, for example, that 56% of passive candidates want to work in companies whose work culture best fits their personality. This suggests that you are likely to get motivated, engaged, and genuinely interested employees when you recruit passive candidates,
•to be 33% more likely to welcome challenging roles within an organisation,
•to be 17% less likely to need further skill development, meaning that they can make an immediate contribution to the business while saving on initial training costs,
•to be 21% less likely to need recognition when they make a contribution to a company.
It seems clear from this that if you want to attract passive talent then you need to ensure your business brand and corporate culture is strong enough to appeal to those with the culture fit you require. It may also be time that you created a proactive talent acquisition team if you do not already have one – and then focus them on figuring out exactly what it is that makes a satisfied passive candidate tick, how to influence their perception of your company as a good place to work, and what it is about your business that will win them over. And when you write your job advertisements, make sure that they emphasise how the candidate can make an impact or difference rather than just listing the usual required skills and experience.
According to Jobvite, a candidate’s lack of urgency for making a job change means they are unlikely to be interviewing with other companies and therefore less competition for you. They are also likely to be more truthful about their skills on their resumes; because you reached out to them first. But first you have to get their attention!
Use social media as much as you can and make sure that all your media profiles, company sites and application processes are mobile friendly. Make it easy for them to research your company by having multiple social media profiles.
When you next wonder why it’s better to take time and effort to persuade one currently happy employee to come and work for your organisation when you have so many eager applicants already sending their resumes and begging for a job, remember that since passive candidates are content in their work, they are clearly valuable assets to their current employers and therefore could be to you too.
If you have any questions about attracting passive candidates, please get in touch with the Recruitment Marketing Group team today and we will be able to assist you with your recruitment marketing requirements.
‘If people do not know that your company exists then you do not have a business’
Carol Roth. US media personality and top small business influencer.
In today’s economic climate, recruitment marketing campaigns can be costly – so if you are not already doing so, and in addition to the normal social media outreach such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create an online presence, it’s time you considered using some of the many other low cost and often free methods of PR available to spread the word about your company and services.
Press releases are cost-effective and they work well for recruitment businesses. Get a press release into print and it will generate interest. Regular, relevant and timely press releases cost nothing to write, yet make the investment return almost infinite and keep your company name in front of potential customers. Use them to introduce new services, celebrate award wins or having reached a significant milestone in your business. Remember to always follow up with a call or letter to the editor as this will ensure you are front of mind and you can also answer any immediate questions they may have to supplement the release. A follow up letter often has as good a chance of being published as the release itself. Such letters provide ideal opportunities to respond to previous editorial comments or share your position. This can help build a positive relationships with editors who may then consider you a useful source for future quotes on other newsworthy items, which makes your chances of getting future press releases into print even greater. It’s not just PR agencies who can get great results with the media – you can do this yourselves and the results will be quickly visible and the return potential is huge.
Writing articles is another simple and cost effective alternative to larger scale marketing for getting your company known among new clients or more candidates. Not only will articles published on your own website improve your SEO rankings with search engines, they may also get picked up by other sites and go viral, providing even more publicity online. Topics should be short and informative, drawing on your own expertise, wisdom and knowledge. The articles also need to consist of entirely new content so write on topics you know about. Regular articles can create and build credibility, especially when they deal with current issues, or explain how to do something. Make sure you include your contact details and any links back to your site in case the content is picked up by others.
Use comment boxes for free publicity. If you regularly read other people’s articles then always use of the readers comment box at the end. Not only will other readers look at any important information you may offer, but the authors themselves may consider you or your company for future stories. If your comments are informative and useful to other readers, you may be able to position yourself or your company as a thought leader in the industry and in turn you will receive more opportunities to comment or answer industry-related questions online.
Step into the Spotlight
Many magazine and top periodicals have free business spotlights and they are in constant need of fresh and unique business features. By doing the research and providing a quality focus on your company, complete with suitable photographs or graphics – you can generate brand visibility and website traffic with this type of collaboration with publications in your industry. Successful recruitment publications are always hungry for quality material and if you provide new and useful information the way they like it, they are likely to use it, and even demand more. Just make sure to emulate the in-house style and identify the correct person to contact.
Participation in online forums is another effective way of getting your business and your name known across the industry. Get involved in the forums you currently read or seek out those with subjects specific to your business area or expertise. Regular participation by answering or asking questions will position you as an expert or resource for others. Some online forums will also let you use an email signature that links to your business site. Make the most of links back to your own website as these are also favoured highly by search engines and will increase your search ranking.
HARO means ‘Help A Reporter Out’. In other words, be a reliable resource for journalists – the sort of person they can turn to for ideas, comments and information. HARO is a North American publicity service that aims to connect journalists with people who can help them with background for their stories. Sourcebottle.com is a similar matching up service available in Australia and New Zealand. Media people post regular requests for potential sources to contribute to written publications, broadcast and web shows, and you can sign up for free to receive PR opportunities posted to your inbox.
Whether you decide to register or not, establishing and nurturing positive relationships with reporters and letting them know the business topics you can help them with, is always a good idea. By understanding their reporting styles too, their target readers and the hooks they use, you can become the resource they may need and the person they will turn to, when they have space to fill or a deadline to meet.
Finally, don’t forget to use Twitter by carrying out detailed research on specific journalists by using Twitonomy. Sign in using your own Twitter account and use this tool to type in any Twitter handle to see the analytics for that particular user – including their retweets, the users they reply to the most, the hashtags used, and the time/day and frequency they tweet. You will also discover the lists being followed and other peoples lists they are on – all of which provides essential information for you to assess whether the right journalists to engage with.
Generating publicity for your recruitment agency or sourcing team doesn’t have to cost the earth. These few methods of generating PR are extremely effective and can provide instant results for your business.
If you have any questions about the best way to get generate free PR for your business or clients’ recruitment campaigns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Recruitment Marketing Group team.
The Australian job market is currently largely in the employer’s favour. Candidates are up against a large amount of competition, so the aim is to differentiate yourself against your peers. With this in mind, more and more candidates are using their imagination and creativity to showcase their talents and create a point of difference through their resumes. Employers and recruiters are increasingly receiving alternative and sometimes eccentric resumes. As a recruiter, you will no doubt have come across these from time to time.
What are your thoughts on unique, unorthodox resumes, which are supposedly designed to stand out above the rest? While some employers either like or loathe them, others are simply baffled and not sure what to make of them. Recruiters are surely simply looking for the best candidates in the shortest amount of time so are these types of resumes effective or just a pain? If you’re one of those recruiters who feel bewildered or downright annoyed by the sight of an unusual resume, the following may help.
What sort of unconventional resumes can I expect to see?
While it is entirely appropriate in the digital age for applications to be no longer limited to paper – applicants may attempt to video stream, chat, use websites, brochures, or multi-media presentations to present their resume or CV whether it has been asked for or not.
• Videos – The video resume which has begun to take off on YouTube and Facebook is currently being extolled by some employment consultants as the best way for applicants to showcase their unique skill sets and be seen by hirers – without necessarily meeting them in person. Although still early days, job board recruiters have also begun to develop technologies to support video formats.
• Brochures – The brochure resume is meant to enable an applicant to highlight chosen aspects of their normal CV e.g. job skills and experience, education, successes and accolades – leaving the hirer to extract the specific things they are interested in. Additional information about qualifications, achievement graphs, papers and a business card may also be inserted.
• Personal Websites – The website resume is designed to function as a digital achievements portfolio using graphics, copy and video, with online links to other relevant information and resources. The hirer then has to search for what they are looking for themselves.
• PowerPoint – A resume reworked as a ready made presentation enabling the applicant to reconstruct their CV with graphics, photos, and related data that can be used and expanded on, if the applicant is invited to interview.
• Video Chat – Essentially an online opportunity that may or not be accompanied by a written or digital portfolio, that invites the hirer to talk live with the job applicant at a mutually agreeable time, using an instant messenger utility such as Skype, Facetime or iChat.
How to deal with unconventional resumes
It seems undeniable enough that applicants with unconventional resumes deserve at least some additional brownie points for extra effort. With an increasing number of individuals being persuaded to risk more creative methods to attract attention – where should the line be drawn however?
While some resumes may be impressively unconventional and make positive impact, others may simply strive for attention in an over-the-top manner and miss the prime purpose of communicating clearly what you – the hirer needs to know. You may be interested in seeing evidence of creative and imaginative thinking skills, but if the medium is too complicated you may not have the time, the inclination or dare we say the personal digital skills to view it – and so end up reading another applicants’ more traditional resume instead.
The key to dealing with unconventional resumes is simply this – where do you the hirer want to draw the line? If you have asked for more than just a standard resume – or it enables you to filter out the mundane and predictable – then fine. Each employer will be different. Some will have more patience or time than others, and some will relish ‘a breath of fresh air’ approach that suggests a high quality candidate or an acceptable indicator of skills that can put to good use.
Another consideration is the fact that more and more recruitment agencies require that prospective resumes are sent out to clients in their own resume format with branding and contact details etc. This means PDF, video, website and other formats other than Word documents can’t be reformatted easily by consultants. With hundreds of resumes to review each day, consultants are likely to simply disregard resumes in ‘alternative’ formats, having the exact opposite effect to the ‘stand out from the crowd’ aim by the candidate in the first place.
What to watch out for
Just like any traditional resume look out for the overblown and the flamboyant at the expense of clarity, precision and relevance. Some applicants may be simply trying to disguise what is otherwise an insufficient or weak resume – hiding experience gaps amongst the creativity, masking meaningless content, or drawing attention away from personal weaknesses. A non-chronological approach, for example, may be covering up timeline gaps.
If the unconventional resume helps to make your evaluation process easier, then go ahead. Video CV‘s – for example – are becoming more common, and can mean less bulk reading by you or having to ‘read between the lines’. They can provide more than just one photograph enabling you to see the applicant as you might in an interview. You can tell a lot more about an applicant this way than through just a piece of paper. On the other hand, employers can simply look up candidates in the public domain online (Google, LinkedIn or Facebook) if they want a more personal view of them, and this approach will surely be more telling than an edited video CV!
At the end of the day however, your reaction to any unconventional resume will rest on the answers to two questions – does it make communication clearer or more obscure and does it make the process easier or harder for me? Employers and HR departments may receive unconventional resumes more positively than recruitment consultants as there are less restrictions and processes at the end of the line. Candidates however should tailor their resumes to the recipient company/organisation and remember the basics before spending too much time on something wildly creative that misses the point completely.
Almost a decade ago, recruitment videos were the subject of much discussion; everybody wanted to get involved but nobody really knew how. Videos were only used for recruitment by a handful of companies in a handful of sectors and the success of using this type of media was questionable, especially when the high production costs were considered.
In 2012, recruitment videos are no longer a novelty and are becoming widely used within the Australian recruitment market. Video is now being used effectively for various parts of the recruitment process; candidate interviews, video resumes, staff and team profiles, employer brand promotion and a means of providing candidates with detailed information about the company they will be working for.
Recruiters and HR professionals are now, more than ever before, able to utilise the power of video to complement their existing candidate attraction strategies. Recruiters now have a new readily available medium in which to impress potential clients. It is now easier than ever for companies to enhance their employer brand using video online.
Social media has had a large part to play in the recent resurrection of video recruitment strategies and thanks to ever increasing ease of publishing videos online, now is the time to add this effective tool to your recruitment marketing strategy.
7 Steps for Effective Recruitment Video Strategies
As with any recruitment marketing strategy, before you begin, you need to ensure you have a clear plan in place. Running off to make videos about your company with no means of publishing them or editing them can only end in disaster. A recruitment video strategy is not as easy as filming something and uploading it to all of the websites you can think of. For your recruitment videos to produce effective results, follow these seven basic steps:
1. Decide on Your Audience
There are many areas in which video can enhance your business but you need to be clear of who you want to target. Are you looking to attract more candidates? If so, uploading videos on your company Facebook page or YouTube could work well. For client attraction and employer brand promotion, videos on your corporate website would be more appropriate, shown at events or left with a client on a branded USB storage key to leave a lasting impression. Matching your video style, content and message to your audience is essential.
2. Do Your Research
Take a look at other recruitment videos on competitor websites, YouTube and Facebook to see what is working for other recruiters currently. You will quickly get an idea of the popular videos compared with those that failed by reading the comments and seeing the numbers of ‘views’. Note down the aspects of videos that received good reviews and compile a list of concepts that could work for your business.
3. The Message
What do you want to say in your video? What messages are you trying to get across to your audience? Does the message flow and will it keep the viewer’s attention? Keep it short. If you can’t get your message across in less than a couple of minutes, you should review the message. Internet videos are rarely longer than 60 seconds, so aim for 1-2 minutes in length. Test out the message by running it past a few selected members of your target audience before the filming gets underway, to ensure they understand it and respond positively. Act on this feedback and make any changes required.
4. Keep it Interesting!
Gone are the days where a read message from your MD sat behind a desk will keep your audience’s attention. In the modern age of viral marketing and online advertising, your target market is used to quick, snappy, funny, quality videos that get to the point fast and make a lasting impression. This is also your aim. If your video is boring, your audience will switch off after about 3 seconds. Capture the interest of your target market by coming up with an innovative but professional concept. This is often the hardest part of the process.
5. Filming & Editing
You must now decide how your video will be produced and organise editing to produce the final cut. Filming and editing can be done in-house but it’s important that the end results looks professional, otherwise you are in danger of damaging your brand and turning people off. Most recruiters will outsource this stage of the process to an external agency. There are many corporate video production agencies to choose from, and they are not all as expensive as you might think. Here are a few Australian recruitment video producers doing great things right now: www.ipermedia.com.au, www.atomicpixel.com.au, www.inspireworks.com.au, www.randem.com.au.
6. Final Review
Having already run the video message past a select few members of your audience, once the video is in the final stages of production it is advisable to have it reviewed again to obtain final feedback before publishing. Your management team and marketing department might think the video is fantastic, but it’s always worth having external eyes take a look to ensure you are on the right track. Invite a few candidates to watch the video and ask for their honest opinions. Run the video past a couple of regular clients to see what they think. Any changes can be made now before the final cut is produced.
7. Publishing your Recruitment Video
The first place to publish your video should be your own company website. This can then be promoted across your social media network, links emailed out on newsletters and a link to the video can be included on email signatures. If your website doesn’t have the capacity to host video, there are many plug-ins that can be easily used to enable video to be hosted and played. Other than YouTube, Facebook and MySpace, there are a number of video hosting sites onto which you can upload your video. Other sites you can use are Vimeo, Veoh and Viddler. For client-focused videos, upload onto your iPad and take to client meetings. This will give the impression of a tech-savvy business and is also something slightly different that you will be remembered for.
Tips on Using Video for Recruitment
Here are some additional tips you may want to try to increase the effectiveness of your recruitment video.
Increase Google Rankings
Popular videos have a positive effect on the organic search engine rankings of your own website. The more views your video receives, the higher your website will be ranked in Google. Videos now appear high on the search rankings so your video may be found by specific searches before your website is. This is another great way to send traffic to your own site.
YouTube allows people to post comments about your video, which means you get instant free feedback from actual viewers. YouTube also provides viewership information and popularity ratings. This information is gold for reviewing the effectiveness of your video and to understand the types of candidates/clients viewing it. Even if you receive some negative comments, which most online videos do, you can respond and use those comments and use this as an opportunity to provide feedback in a professional manner.
Benefits from Recruitment Videos
Maximise Your Response Rates
Your video is an additional channel through which candidates and clients can reach you, and studies show that it is fast becoming a very effective channel. It has recently been shown that using video with job postings online can increase response rates by up to 15%. Use job boards that can host video and ensure your own website has this functionality to get the most from your online advertising budget.
Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong Candidates
Recruitment videos, when used correctly, can give candidates a better, clearer and wider view of your company or the company they might be working for. A video can therefore effectively show a candidate the type of work environment the company has and who they may be working with. Video is therefore a great tool to help filter out candidates that may decide against the position later down the track once they come in for interview.
In summary, the potential of video in recruitment is vast and exciting but an effective strategy needs to be in place before embarking on this type of media. For more information about effective recruitment video strategies, please get in touch today.
Here are some examples of good and bad recruitment videos for your research/amusement. From highly creative and innovative ideas to the downright cringe-worthy.
Let us know what you think and as always, all questions and comments are welcome. If you know of any good or bad recruitment videos, please post the links below.
The effects of Facebook and Twitter in today’s society are undeniable; both social media sites have successfully managed to weave their way deep into the consciousness of individuals, candidates and employers alike. So much so, there are now very few people in Australia and New Zealand who do not have accounts with one or both sites, and who do not visit at least one of the sites every day.
The trend of recruiting candidates through networking sites is not new. Founded in 2002 and launched in 2003, LinkedIn has been at the forefront of online network recruiting for almost a decade and as the world’s leading professional networking site, a large majority of job-seeking candidates will now go straight to LinkedIn as their first choice when looking for a new job. Online networking is now one of the main ways candidates in Australia and New Zealand search for jobs in 2012.
Compared with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are pitched at a more social level rather than professional. But with over 11 million active Facebook users and 1.8 million Twitter users in Australia (Social Media News, July 2012), few can argue the potential of these two social sites for recruiting candidates for job vacancies. Compare these figures to just 2.1 million users of LinkedIn in Australia.
More and more companies are turning to Facebook and Twitter to find potential employees. The importance of both websites is becoming more apparent for recruitment agencies, head-hunters, corporate HR teams and employers, especially those looking to reduce spend on traditional advertising or more expensive online marketing. While LinkedIn is still the number one online social network for professionals and recruiters, Facebook and Twitter now account for 54.6% and 44.8% of social recruiting. These figures cannot be ignored.
The Bandwagon Mantra: “If you can’t beat them, join them”
Most companies that have tried recruiting through Facebook and Twitter joined the trend for one or more of these reasons:
1. Cost Effectiveness
Both are free-to-use social websites so adding them to the marketing department’s portfolio is often seen as exposure for nothing. It is also just one more way that potential candidates can get in touch; those who may have not been reached before.
2. Next Door Does It
The competition has been seen recruiting (or trying to recruit) using these sites so it must work, right? The fear of getting left behind your competitors.
3. Trend Factor
Due to the popularity of both sites, it appears to be the in-thing to be seen as a company that uses social networks. Your company could therefore be seen as trendy and one that is in tune with the internet generation if you fire up some social pages.
These are of course all valid reasons for joining the social recruitment revolution but to be taken seriously as a recruitment team looking for new candidates or an organisation attempting to raise its profile or employer brand with the social media generation, the sites must be used correctly. Misuse of these sites can lead to a backlash of online comments from your target market and the danger of not just missing the goal of candidate attraction and free brand exposure, but you may end up damaging previous marketing efforts for your business.
What’s the Problem?
Unfortunately companies that use Facebook and Twitter to recruit staff for the sole reason that they think they should, or their competitors are trying it, are missing the chance of using these potentially very useful and extremely powerful online tools. Without the right planning and approach many companies end up with a poor online marketing strategy and they end up attracting the wrong type of candidates or visitors to their jobs or websites. Bad website traffic can be much more damaging than some recruiters think – job boards know this only too well. It really is about quality candidates rather than high traffic numbers.
How to Use Facebook and Twitter Effectively for Recruitment
In order to get the most out Facebook and Twitter, a correct strategy needs to be in place before the new group or fan page goes live. You need to create a social recruitment marketing plan, as with any other marketing strategy, whereby you identify which social networking websites are most effective and most consistent for the end goals you would like to achieve. Recruiting experienced lawyers through Facebook for example, is unlikely, but if you are an events agency looking for summer temp staff, the site could be perfect for you.
With your target market in mind, take an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of each social networking site. Who are you targeting? What do you want them to do once you have their attention? What return can you expect from internal resource time spent on these sites plus any potential advertising spend? The research and review stage of the process is paramount as you may find these sites are no good for your business, allowing you to spend valuable marketing resources elsewhere.
Facebook currently has around one billion members worldwide, most of whom provide detailed demographic information about themselves, and in doing so, Facebook has the largest profiled human database in the world. The possibilities for recruitment are huge but the correct strategy needs to be in place.
Facebook offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allowing you to filter their global members and show your ads to only those you want to see them. This advertising option can be very effective in recruitment but doesn’t come cheap at between $1.00 and $2.50 per click. You can however drill right down to target people with particular job titles, those in specific towns or area codes and also by specific keywords such as qualifications or experience. Because of the effective filtering capabilities provided by Facebook, their PPC ads are much more targeted than those with search engines such as Google. A recruiter advertising with Facebook can reach their target market with a relatively low budget to trial this potential candidate resource and campaigns can be managed by setting budget and click limits.
Advertising aside, groups and company profiles are the most commonly used tool by recruiters and can be set up on easily and free of charge on Facebook. The site is much more versatile than Twitter, which only allows you to share 140-character messages. You can post photos, images, logos, status updates and links, and can use the page or group as a secondary portal to offer information to potential job candidates and as a way for directing them to your own company website.
Facebook also has great tools for widening your network:
• Tags – allowing you to tag people so your recruitment ad will also be posted on their timelines for their contacts to see
• Share – allowing other users to share your posts on their own timelines for their contacts to see
• Like – which builds up the equity and popularity of your posts
Since Facebook is more dynamic than Twitter, it requires more time and engagement from you in the first instance. Firstly, you need to spend time building up a fan base or as many contacts as you can reach. The more fans or likes you have on your page, the more weight your page will hold for other users. Secondly, you need to make your Facebook profile as interesting as possible so your contacts or fans will remember you and visit the page again.
Setting up a well-presented and interesting page or group requires time and effort with initial investment, as well as ongoing management to ensure the page remains up-to-date. However, since Facebook is currently free to use, internal costs ongoing can be kept low. Any initial investment in setting up the page or group will almost certainly provide you with a good source of candidates and a great platform to provide updates to your target market, if managed correctly.
Twitter has great potential as a social recruiting tool, mainly because it is easy to use, straight forward to manage and it provides instant communication for your target market so you can update them throughout the day with news, jobs or industry information in a simple and effective way.
As with Facebook, you need followers, so it is important to create an interesting Twitter feed with information that your target market will find useful enough to follow. Many recruiters use Twitter to simply tweet all of their job vacancies, which is not the most effective way to use this tool. It has been shown that candidates very seldom apply for jobs they see on Twitter and you are more likely to result in annoying your candidates or clients with constant job postings and lose them as followers altogether.
The best approach to using Twitter for your recruitment organisation is shown below in three stages:
1. Tweet only useful information such as industry updates, career articles, survey results, company news or industry news. In doing this, you are creating an interesting stream of information for your potential candidates or clients, which they can effectively sign up to and use to remain informed. The odd key job vacancy thrown in is fine but jobs should not be the bulk of your tweets. Don’t exceed 20-30% of your tweets as jobs.
2. Answer any questions or concerns that are directed to your company in good time and with appropriate, informed responses. In doing this, you will appear to be a professional and proactive organisation who can be relied on for information and answers. In turn, you will gain the trust of your audience.
3. You should aim to answer industry-related questions associated with your business or recruitment sectors found on other Twitter feeds. Join industry-related feeds, follow key companies in your sector and set up regular searches with industry keywords so you can answer candidate or client questions as they arise. In doing this, you will slowly enable your business to become a trusted authority within the industry and a trusted place for candidates to find jobs or clients to find candidates.
As with Facebook, if used correctly Twitter can be an extremely effective tool for recruitment but also requires regular resources to maintain and update, ensuring a constant stream of useful tweets for your followers.
Both social media sites should be used in accordance with a detailed online marketing strategy for any recruitment business or HR department. With the correct planning and execution, these could be two very effective candidate resources and employer brand platforms for your business.
Please get in touch with any questions or comments or if you would like to discuss your own social media strategy. Recruitment Marketing Group has created and managed numerous social media pages, groups and strategies for recruiters and recruitment teams, so we can assist with yours if required.
To kick off our series of recruitment marketing tips and advice articles for recruitment and HR professionals, we focus on writing job ads. It’s an easy one to start with. Whether you’re advertising jobs online, in newspapers or in your windows, it’s easy to forget just how many jobs there are currently being advertised in the Australian recruitment market. In a word, millions. Yours needs to stand out from the crowd in order to attract the very best talent for your clients or your company. Mastering basic copywriting skills is simple but also quickly forgotten by recruiters in favour of time saving and performing more glamorous tasks. The result is of course poorly written job ads, lower response rates, lower application quality and in turn less candidates for your jobs. Aside from the lower responses, would your branding department be happy listing the company logo next to what you have produced? It is also a corporate image exercise. Would a professional candidate want to work for a company who releases job ads with spelling and grammar mistakes? Don’t think so. To ensure you receive the very best bang for your advertising buck and continue to receive quality candidates, here are our top tips.
A lot of people are looking for jobs, so most job ads often get at least a couple of responses. But for a recruitment agency or HR department that needs to find the right people for all its clients or departments, one or two applicant responses simply will not be enough to provide a decent shortlist of potential recruits. In order to increase the likelihood of finding the best quality responses to a job ad, the ad itself has to generate as many responses as possible.
In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of job ads, measurable by the number of responses it receives, the most important thing is to improve a job ad’s ability to attract attention. If a job ad fails to attract attention, it will fail, period. If a job ad does catch attention, then there’s a 50/50 chance that the candidate who noticed is the right one. So, in job advertising, that first moment, that attention-grabbing moment, is everything.
So how can an ad’s ability to attract attention be improved?
For recruitment agencies or HR professionals, advertising a job is not unlike marketing a product or service. Hence, the same advertising rules apply. A bland and boring job ad will not only attract just a few responses, but will also fail to attract the best candidates. Candidates of quality will most likely also be attracted to ads that exert more effort to grab attention and to elicit interest.
A lot of job ads these days simply inform potential applicants that there are job vacancies, but these are far from the right way of creating effective, attention-grabbing job ads. A job ad has to do more than just inform; it has to engage, to pique interest, and to hold on to an audience for an extended period of time or until the attention finally turns to action.
Highlight the unique benefits of the job
Think about how products and services are advertised. Don’t companies highlight their best features? It should be the same concept for advertising a job vacancy. A job ad has to have a list of the possible benefits that applicants will enjoy in the event that they get hired. So aside from listing down the obvious, such as the job post and some background about the company, a recruitment ad also has to list down some extra perks, which may include but are not limited to:
These are just some of the examples an effective, attention-grabbing job ad should include. A job ad can also focus only on one or a couple of major benefits, which will serve as the ultimate attention grabber. Usually, the best benefits to push forward are high salary levels, additional benefits and details of progression.
Put two job ads side by side, one with just the company information and the job vacancy, and the other listing down the sample benefits shown above. Which ad will applicants probably choose to apply to?
Be just a call away
The most effective job ads that get the most responses have one thing in common; they have active contact information included. Providing contact information for candidates is a good way of converting attention into actual applications, and this will, in turn, improve the responses that the ad gets. The easier it is for a candidate to get in touch, the more likely they will do. Rather than simply listing your website address, include your phone number, email address, mobile number (home number even) and demonstrate you will be waiting for their call. Make sure, however, that applicants receive a prompt response from any of the contact details placed on the ad.
Most job applicants often have additional questions that are crucial to their decision-making process, so it helps if they are able to get the answers they need with a single call. If telephone numbers or mobile numbers cannot be disclosed, an e-mail address would be sufficient, as long as applicants can expect a prompt reply. Keep in mind, however, that many applicants don’t usually bother making an inquiry through e-mail since e-mail will not give them the response they need instantly, so a phone number is still more preferable. Adding a personal name rather than ‘HR Department’ will also create a personal touch and invite the candidate to get in contact.
Use the right media
As with advertising a product or service, the right media platform used for job ads matters greatly. Where job ads are positioned will have an immense effect on the number of responses it will receive. For example, if the ad is targeting the younger segment of the market, it should use media platforms that this segment is exposed to regularly, such as the Internet, social networking sites, magazines and social newspapers, college or university hiring sites, online message boards etc. If an ad, on the other hand, is targeting the older, more professional demographics, more conventional media platforms such as professional industry organisations, executive job boards and newspapers, depending on your budget of course.
There you have it, the basic skills to create attention-grabbing job ads and receive the very best return for your recruitment advertising budget. A little extra time and care taken to write and advertise your vacancies will result in much higher returns in terms of candidate quality and numbers. Get to it!
Just a quick note to let you know our open discussion forum is now live. We will keep the pages up-to-date with regular useful articles, discussions and industry news, as well as the latest from Recruitment Marketing Group. We will start the discussions with a series of top tips articles and advice pieces on basic recruitment marketing skills. Let us know your thoughts as we’d love to hear from you.
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