Companies have to work harder to earn candidates’ trust.
Candidates trust employees more than companies for credible information about the work environment.
To optimize recruitment strategies, recruiters can leverage current candidate behavior and patterns.
Authenticity in branding is key to establishing a strong employer brand that reflects the company accurately.
Ever wonder how a particular candidate found a company to work for? When considering individual “success stories” of how a quality candidate was engaged and recruited by an organization, it does beg the question of how that story unfolded – and more importantly, how that success might be repeated.
Job seekers find companies through a variety of avenues. Whether they are exposed to content through recruitment marketing media or find it organically, hiring professionals know that candidates are going to review company employer profiles. Some speak to friends to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at a particular company. Some job seekers find companies via referrals or perform their own due diligence.
Today, the overwhelming majority of candidates are regularly scrolling through Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and similar channels to secure a position. Alternatively, there are also niche job boards – and when looking for specific types of candidates (highly specialized talent or diverse), a recruiter’s first instinct may be to go to niche job boards or job platforms.
However, there are other ways to diversify an organization’s recruitment strategy and showcase the company based on the current patterns of candidate behavior.
While the changing candidate behavior presents challenges, especially in the current recruiting environment, there is actually a certain predictability to the process that recruitment marketing professionals can use to optimize recruitment strategies. This article will detail some of these methods and patterns and ways companies can tighten up their digital footprints to improve engagement and effectively attract the talent they seek.
1. Walking the Talk
When job seekers are searching for jobs, they're interested in learning what it's really like to work for a company. In the current environment, candidates are doing more research when seeking employment, so being aware of this aspect of candidate behavior and all of the potential contact points, campaigns, and messaging that candidates are likely to encounter is extremely important.
Some basics include showcasing a day-in-the-lifeof a strong and skilled team. It isn’t just rank-and-file workers for whom authenticity is a concern – senior candidates also value transparency. Thus, appealing to this and their high-level skills can go a long way toward engaging these candidates.
There generally is no correlation between age and skill – especially when it comes to net-new technology. Companies should refrain from limiting their role/job description to exclude any talent in the talent pool, implicitly or explicitly. Gone are the days when companies need 15+ years of experience, when the corresponding technology has only existed for a handful of years. Also, messaging may need to be catered to attract different age groups within the talent pool. Remember, this doesn’t just include policy; it also means continually communicating that aspect of the company’s culture to prospective candidates.
It’s important to deliver content that reflects who the company is, not who it wants to be – and to keep all media and messaging current. This also helps establish a strong employer brand that communicates a genuine company culture. Branding should be tight and ought to communicate not only how well the company performs, but also how skilled and harmonious its teams and workers are.
2. Creating Engaging Content
Most candidates don’t have the luxury of knowing someone who can provide a first-hand account of a day-in-the-life working for a given company. This is where content comes in, as this offers the next best thing. Candidates have become far more savvy and discerning than in years past. In many cases, they can tell when images in job ads or career sites are stock photos, and ironically, the same stock imagery depicting diverse themes is used by multiple brands.
Real content from real people attracts quality talent. As such, an employer’s biggest asset is its population of employees. Video content (at the moment, the premier recruitment media) depicting actual employees in their roles can grab candidates’ attention in a way that stock footage or paid actors cannot. If there are differences between roles or the company culture as advertised and what the candidate sees on-site, the candidate will likely not accept an offer even if one is made.
Candidates trust people more than companies. Studies show that candidates trust the company's employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information on what it's like to work there. They want a genuine look at how a company operates and what their day-to-day life will look like.
Elevating key team members (who are representative of the message being communicated) to be employee ambassadors where they may be seen across various recruiting media can convey this quite nicely. Media featuring brand ambassadors can help candidates visualize the people they’ll be working with on the job; this is a reason that video job descriptions have recently become popular.
Tip: Crafting this vision for candidates is integral to managing the candidate experience. Companies can use platforms likeJamyr to easily create videos to aid in these efforts.
3. Social Media & Advertising Efforts
Ensuring that the media and messaging are getting out to the right places is essential. Campaign and social media strategies should be comprehensive and include insights based on the available data and the knowledge and experience of recruitment marketing professionals. This will ensure that the appropriate messaging is being communicated.
Apart from paid advertising, social media platforms can be utilized to organically share with the audience what’s happening with the company, what jobs are available, and new company-wide initiatives. This is integral to promoting the company brand and cultivating top-of-mind awareness amongst those in the talent pool.
Tip: While the precise messaging may vary across social media platforms, it is important that branding is aligned across all of these platforms so that the audience can easily recognize and remember the company when they’re not actively job searching. This continuity in messaging and content is extremely important when it comes to employer branding and the company’s overall reputation.
4. Embracing Employer Profiles
When someone is shopping on an online merchant, they will often use the filter function to display only products that have a 4- to 5-star rating. This way, they only see the best of what that merchant has to offer. In the same sense, the same can be applied to how candidates “shop” for an employer using online employer profiles on job sites.
With this in mind, companies have the opportunity to control their narrative using employer profiles. They can put their best foot forward, showcase the most attractive aspects of their culture, and interact with reviews for the world to see. There are few resources (other than video) that are more useful in crafting a vision of the company as a great place to work than employer profiles. They are also excellent for helping candidates determine if a company's culture aligns with their personal values.
The value of this resource cannot be understated: 86% of employees and job seekers research company reviews and ratings to decide where to apply for a job, and 70% have changed their opinion about a brand after seeing the company reply to a review.
Keeping on top of the employer profile is also where the efforts mentioned previously can pay off: With a strong employer brand reinforced with consistent, clear, and accurate messaging, these scores will be validated by candidates and employees who visit these sites. Candidates visit these profiles whether they’ve been maintained, so it’s essential to include their maintenance in recruitment strategies and keep them up-to-date.
Tip: Some employer profiles can integrate with social platforms, which helps hiring professionals ensure that fresh content is always posted.
In addition to the many tools recruiters have at their disposal, understanding candidate behavior is integral to crafting an effective recruitment strategy. This not only affords recruitment marketers the opportunity to meet candidates where they are, but helps keep companies relatable to specific segments of the talent pool. If your organization is interested in improving its understanding of candidate behavior and how it can use this to fine-tune its recruitment marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us!