Recruiters today must have a candidate attraction plan in place in order to lure in top talent. Candidate attraction is the act of getting open positions in front of qualified candidates in a compelling way that encourages a response. The old days of reactive recruiting where new requisitions translate immediately into new job ads on tried and true job boards are gone. It simply doesn't scale.
So how do you attract the right kind of candidates to your jobs in today's changing landscape? Here are a few strategies that can make a big difference:
Segment the target audience and develop candidate personas
Efficient recruitment marketing starts with understanding the job family you are targeting. This drives everything that you do in recruiting. In order to better understand the target audience, it’s recommended to develop candidate personas, which is a way of defining and putting a name and face to who you’re actually marketing to. Persona characteristics shouldn’t be limited to position titles, skills, and competencies. Recruitment marketers should dig a level deeper in order to find out what really drives that person by taking a broader look at things such as personality characteristics and hobbies they enjoy. When developing candidate personas, it’s worthwhile to get to know current top performers in similar positions.
Utilize expanded channels
The good news about being a good recruitment marketer, is that your value is in knowing how to test and refine channels. You don't have to have all the answers, just know how to get them. In order for you to learn which channels provide more of the right kind of candidates, you need to get the message out there. Job boards and career sites like Monster and CareerBuilder are still very active and continue to account for about 35% of attraction activity, but the way in which candidates search for opportunities is constantly changing, which means that companies really need to be casting a wider net.
Increasingly, previously reliable sources become less reliable and new ways of getting your jobs in front of candidates emerge. Additional channels to distribute jobs beyond job boards include social networks, digital and display advertising, pay per click advertising, events, and via recruitment agencies for the hard to fill positions. Some are new, some are old, but each channel needs to be looked at and measured in the same way.
One example of how attraction channels are changing is Facebook. The jobs you post on Facebook are only seen by a small fraction of the people who "like" your page. Now, if you want to get in front of your FB fans, you need to "boost" these posts with some advertising budget. Plus, as algorithms on Facebook, Google, and other sites increasingly filter content to their users based on what that channel "thinks" they like, it's harder to penetrate these "Filter Bubbles" with your jobs and content. More channels and more testing, and analyzing results is required to keep up with candidate behavior.
Centrally control and automate distribution
The most sophisticated companies are centralizing job distribution across all their channels. Centralizing job distribution helps to better target jobs to the most effective channels and gather intelligence about response rates and hiring effectiveness in a rigorous way. Companies are segmenting their job types and developing business rules to govern which jobs go to which channels. The burden is taken off of the recruiters to do it on an individual basis. In some cases, as much as 80% of their job distribution is happening automatically. Centralizing the knowledge about results and leveraging it across the organization to optimize budget saves time and money and results in more candidates. The goal is to get more candidates and compress time so resumes are rolling in against new job requisitions just as recruiters are beginning to work on filling them.
Continuously analyze and refine
A candidate attraction strategy isn’t “set it and forget it.” As time goes on it’s important to continually analyze results to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what changes should be made. You should be constantly learning and refining in order to spend your recruiting dollars, time, and effort in the ways that result in more of the right candidates.
Channels to talent are changing constantly. You need to have a recruiting organization built to target the right candidates and adapt to their changing behaviors. It’s necessary to utilize all these strategies and more in order to get your positions in front of these candidates to convert them into applicants.