According to Dictionary.com, the definition of recruiting is “to engage in finding and attracting employees, new members, students, athletes, etc.”.

When you go fishing, you make sure to have the right bait. Why should recruiting be any different?

The key word in this definition is “attracting”. Think of things in life that attract: bait attracts a fish, a zapper attracts mosquitos, …you get the picture.

Why should job ads be any different? As it stands today, most job ads aren’t worth 5 seconds of anyone’s time.

That’s why it’s time for recruiters to start taking a page out of the marketing playbook. The common thread between marketing and today’s recruiting? Content. As marketing departments have learned, consumers increasingly have more leverage.

Why do they have more leverage? Because there are more choices available for consumers, and a ton of info available to help them make an educated decision.

Recruiters who want to build a funnel of “A-players” should look at this challenge the same way. “A-players” have options (no matter what unemployment figures suggest), and you’re going to have to get their attention.

Here’s how.

What Candidates Want

Over the last six months, we’ve been gathering as much candidate feedback as possible to make Ongig a better site.

We quickly learned that the 5C’s were most important to “A-players”: Career Development, Culture, Creativity, Convenience, and Compensation. These were the topics that came up time and time again when we asked people what was important in their careers.

We also learned that over 50% of candidates use Craigslist as a place to proactively look at job openings. We applaud the success of Craigslist through their simplistic format and structure. However, try to visualize the 5 C’s in the Craigslist job ad below:

You might be able to read a few lines about reporting to the CEO, or “performing all of the key visuals”. However, in an age where Designers are in demand and have options this is not a job ad recruiters should be depending on.

Candidates have spoken about what is important to them. Now is the time to create content that shows them your 5 C’s versus telling them. The old-school, syntax-laden job description grows more ineffective by the day with “A-players”.

Build A Recruiting Campaign

Most people are familiar with a marketing campaign, but a recruiting campaign?

This team knows a thing or two about how to put together an effective marketing campaign.

Indeed, a recruiting campaign should be structured to the target audience. As it stands today, you can look at the careers page for most companies and all jobs look the same.

Whether it is an accounting position, an engineering position, or a sales position the descriptions tend to look the same.

The best way to start setting each job apart is by showing a picture of the hiring manager. The very first of the 5 C’s is career development. Who is in charge of the candidate’s career development? You guessed it…the hiring manager.

Of course, that is just the first step. A few other ideas would be to show the team and workspace where the candidate will spend most of their time. The second of the 5 C’s is culture, and showing the team and workspace will begin to show candidates what it is like to work at your company.

As you progress through the remaining 5 C’s, take a page out of your marketing departments book. Try to bring the top qualities of the company and job forward in a visual and sensory driven campaign.

That is the content that will begin to attract “A-players”.

Cast A Wide Net

Much like marketing campaigns, you can use your recruiting campaign to cast a wide net for candidates. It can serve as the bait on the hook and build the top of your recruiting funnel.

You just have to know where the “A-players” you are seeking hang out. The good news is that most top recruiters are keenly aware of where to fish. Now they just need to take awesome content about their jobs to the party.

Spiders spin a meticulous web to attract and trap their prey for the purpose of a meal.

An example of this is that every recruiter knows that referrals are the number one resource for filling jobs. A top recruiter will ask for referrals on every single call they make.

Here is the response they receive from the majority of people they talk to: “Send me the job description, and I’ll send it to my friends”. This is also known as the polite brush off, yet most recruiters send over the 3 paragraph job description through email.

You will not hear back 99.9% of the time. Having better content will not guarantee a higher response rate, but consistency with awesome content should start to move the needle.

Send the content to people, post it up in obvious places, and begin to make your careers page a destination.

Targeted Recruiting With Rich Content

Imagine that a recruiter goes through their database and makes a list from 1 to 100 of the best possible candidates for their open positions.

Rich content will give you a better set of darts to hit the target with.

As it stands today, the recruiter will likely follow this workflow in pursuing those candidates: send an email with old-school job description, call the candidate at their workplace to introduce the job verbally, ping a friend they have in common for an intro, and repeat 2-3 times over a month. Once that is complete, shuffle them to the back of the database for 6 more months.

Now imagine the time you can save and candidate engagement you can achieve through rich job content. You can get a message out to all 100 of those folks in an instant across multiple channels. You can also message the friends you have in common…all at once.

The future in recruiting lies in custom content that relates the specific hiring manager to the specific candidate with a specific reason why they should be interested in the job.

…and all of that will become more automated, just like marketing.

Measure Your Progress

No matter what you do or how you do it, you must measure progress to see what works and what does not work. Awesome content itself does not guarantee success.

Again, take a look at marketing for inspiration. Perhaps values such as impressions and clicks will become as common in recruiting as number of applicants or cost per hire.

Do not scrap the current recruiting measurements you have, but begin to look at things at bit more progressively as you begin marketing awesome job content.

 

Jason Webster

Jason Webster is a social recruiting enthusiast and co-founder of Ongig, a platform that creates shareable, visually-appealing job descriptions. He has spoken at multiple social recruiting events, where his passion for candidate experience is the primary topic. Connect with Jason and Ongig on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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