As the “battle for talent” heats up in 2013, the buzz will be about the hot trends in Social Recruiting: Employer Branding, Mobile Engagement, Social Sharing, Talent Communities, and Recruitment Videos.

Talk to your colleagues in Marketing and you’ll hear about a similar focus: Branding, Mobile Engagement, Social Media, Customer Interaction, and Video Advertising. Take note of the correlation.

During 2012, Ongig conducted measured tests to see how each of these tactics work in the world of Social Recruiting. We had the opportunity to test Marketing campaigns for awesome companies, and want to share our findings.

Are these strategies worth your time, money, and resources? Let’s take a look.

1. Employer Branding: Rethink Your Job Ads

A good ad converts better than a bad one. While Marketing clearly understands this, Recruiting is nowhere close. In Recruiting, job ads are more about compliance than attracting talent. Attracting talent is largely outsourced to places like Indeed, Jobvite, and LinkedIn. It’s a paradigm shift, but job ads should be the center of your Recruiting universe.

A good job ad has a headline that attracts attention, a short narrative on the position, images to draw interest, and clear calls to action. And the biggest part…your people are most important to your employer brand. Let them tell the story of working at your company.

Here’s an example of an job ad email campaign we ran with ReTargeter in November 2012.

  1. Time Spent: 15 minutes to compose the email campaign and send to the target audience
  2. Impact: 200+ candidates watched the video of the hiring team within 48 hours of receiving this email


2. Social Sharing: Your Employees Are Your Best Social Recruiters

The social graph of your employees can have a multiplying effect on your Recruiting efforts. However, most organizations struggle getting their employees to share jobs via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. An estimated 15%-20% of employees actively share job content online.

Here’s why…employees are asked to share job descriptions like the one below. Below is what you see when clicking on this job in the LinkedIn news feed. It’s hard to get excited about an ad like this.

There is zero personality in this ad. You may get some interest based on pure quantity. However, there is little emotion to reel people in. This is where your opportunity for an improved ad exists.

Candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your company. They don’t want to read about it in a job description. Nor do they have the patience to listen to your Recruiter explain it over the phone.

Job descriptions like the one below from ReTargeter are a prime example. They featured their team in a quick video, and had over 70 shares (many from their own team) on Facebook and Twitter within 48 hours. This resulted in hundreds of views and dozens of quality applications.

This is what interested candidates see with just one click from a social news feed.

  1. Time Spent: 20 minutes (est.) consulting employees on sharing
  2. Impact: 500+ views in 48 hours generated by your team’s social graph


3. Talent Community: Start A Dialogue With Candidates & Connectors

Treat your candidates like the customers who pay your bills. For Ongig, we are able to send multiple job ads to our talent community because we are featuring multiple employers.

This is not the case for in-house Recruiters. You should send new jobs to your talent community periodically, but mix them in with industry articles, blog articles, meetup information, and other items of interest specific to your audience.

Sending nothing but jobs from a single company is not going to convert at a maximum level. Right now your communication cycle likely depends on LinkedIn InMails. Ask yourself, what is the response rate I am getting from sending job alerts through that medium?

Here’s what it can look like when you take control of your communication. In the dashboard below you can see that we messaged 1,714 candidates in our talent community with the ReTageter job ad. Nearly 41% of those people opened the email, and 221 clicked-through to the video.

Most of the activity was within hours of sending the email.

People who are opening the email multiple times and/or clicking through should be paid immediate attention. Think about it, Recruiters now know who has seen the video of their team.

No more relying on a Recruiter to sell the job to candidates through an text-based email or phone message.

  1. Time Spent: No time commitment
  2. Impact: This can actually help you gain time, by seeing which of your target candidates is engaging with your job description


4. Mobile Engagement: Understand Your Audience

For the ReTargeter campaign, 51.8% of the candidates opened the email campaign with an iPhone. Another 10.1% of the candidates opened the email on a different mobile device.

This tells us that you need to know exactly how the job ad is coming across on each of those devices. Find people on your team who have each type of device, and see how it looks.

Specifically, make sure your audience can see all of the content clearly and that it is easy to click-through. You should require no more than 3 clicks total to submit an application. Make it easy for the person viewing your job on a device to view and apply.

  1. Time Spent: No time commitment
  2. Impact: You know what devices people are using and can ensure an effective Candidate Experience


5. Video Recruiting: Keep It Simple For Maximum Impact

You can get hundreds, if not thousands of views, on your recruiting videos with these easy steps:

  1. Videos should be authentic, not a commercial (Real people in your actual office)
  2. Feature your most engaging employees. Team members you consider “closers” in the hiring process do the best on video
  3. Videos should 2 minutes or less (We see viewership trail off starting at 1:30)
  4. Embed videos all over the web (Employee/Industry Blogs, Careers Page, Eventbrite/Meetup Invitations, etc.)
  5. Make sure the video is married to an easy way to apply within 3 clicks (Most job videos on YouTube require the candidate to go to a Careers Page and search for the right job)
  6. Do NOT over-produce the video. You should not have to spend thousands of dollars for an effective job video. In fact, the “slicker” the video the less candidates believe it. Maintain some brand integrity, but be sensible.

The video with the most views (and a great hire!) on Ongig this year was done by a employee using his own camera that you can see below.

  1. Time Spent: 2 hours to record & edit
  2. Impact: This video received over 450 hours of total viewing time. They saved themselves an incredible amount of time typically spent selling the job by phone or email. You can too.


Overall Results

Let’s look at the ReTageter campaign as an example. The time and money is based on starting from scratch. The time and dollar amount will be reduced with subsequent campaigns.

  • Time: 3 hours
  • Money: $950
  • Tools Used: Canon Rebel T3i, Sunpak Tripod, Campaign Monitor, Ongig

The investment yielded the following activity:

  • Views: 1,651
  • Applications: 60+
  • Interviewed Candidates: 30+
  • Hiring: Interviews not yet finished

The “exponent factor”:

You can re-use good content on a recurring basis. Good video, pictures, and job descriptions may be used for 10 jobs or more with high impact. Using the same content for specific job campaigns focused by location, featured roles, etc. can save you lots of time interacting with candidates, while also improving your Candidate Experience.

by in Social Recruiting