With the new year coming up, we decided to take stock of the state of the recruiting space. With HR teams globally battling the reality of an expanding skills gap with the creation of new job roles, the workload placed on talent attraction (TA) and employer branding (EB) teams is growing.
Thankfully, recruiting software solutions are on hand to automate the slew of associated administrative tasks, helping talent attraction teams be more strategic and proactive in tackling the increasingly complex problems associated with these workplace developments – all at the high output expected by the C-suite. With these tasks a priority, the last thing that TA & EB professionals need is to sacrifice precious time on the onslaught of simple inquiries filling up their email and voicemail inboxes.
From a detailed analysis of nearly a hundred client career sites and associated recruitment channels, we’ve gathered the top 19 items we learned in 2019 that you can action in 2020 to ensure those repetitive inquiries are a thing of the past.
Granted, some inquiries we saw were warranted: “How long will I have to wait?” or “Am I eligible for…?”
But others? Frankly, they got our eyebrows raising: “Is my CV good enough?” and “When can I expect a raise?” And this gem: “Can you tell me what this company does?” Really?
Action these 19 tips and watch your inboxes shrink. The days of roiling in an unending onslaught of info requests and falling further and further behind will soon be behind you. Get ready to embrace the satisfaction of #zeroinbox , recruitment efficiencies and a seamless candidate experience in 2020.
Want more? Check out our comprehensive guide for an in-depth breakdown of the candidate experience. In it, we define exactly what it is, how to avoid falling for the myths and concrete ways you can improve candidate experience to attract the best and brightest talent to your company.
1. Make information about your company culture easy to find
To attract and engage the right candidates, share information about your company culture on your career site. Sound simple? Well, it’s surprising how many companies skimp on showcasing culture component of their employer brand! What’s the best way to do this? See number 2.
2. Use the company culture video to broadcast your employer brand
A robust video library helps interested candidates learn more about the company culture and what day to day life at the workplace looks like. But make it authentic – professional lighting and employees staring nervously into the camera lens won’t resonate with the new generation. Make them light, friendly and on the fly. Think YouTube where smartphone cameras, makeshift tripods and casual conversation attract million-strong viewership. Take inspiration from GoPro – showcasing the fun-loving culture in the GoPro offices through an employee’s first-person perspective.
3. Highlight employee benefits and perks
Share the basics, like medical, dental, and retirement on your careers site, and highlight any benefits that would specifically help you attract culture-fit candidates. Also be sure to highlight any benefits and perks candidates may find valuable – like flexible work schedules, work from home opportunities, casual work environments, and career development opportunities.
4. Don’t waste time on a tedious application process
Convert high-quality active candidates into keen applicants by scaling the application process for use across several devices! With 43% of smartphone users using their mobile to research jobs, and 18% of smartphone users applying via mobile, the case for mobile-friendly job applications is evident.
5. Invest in the candidate experience
The candidate experience is now of paramount consideration for employers because it's a candidate-driven market. Your candidate journey should involve several touchpoints with prospective candidates – from re-engagement emails to follow-up phone calls, engagement is the name of the game when attracting and converting high-quality talent.
6. Conduct some of your own market research
Market research has now found a place in HR. The recruitment, interviewing and onboarding process can only be made memorable if it's informed by the very people it's marketed to. It’s something that we did in our latest Diversity report. In it, we surveyed 1000 candidates across the UK, US and France to determine the type of content they want access to. Hint: it’s content that is highly specific… one might even say, candidate-driven!
7. Sell them a compelling story
According to a study by the Centre for Generational Kinetics, Generation Z is exploring job opportunities by consulting the opinions of those close to them . Facts are loud, but the opinions of those we consider to be well-informed shout louder. So, rally your recent recruits and get them to advocate. They can tell prospective talent about their lived work experience, detailing everything from the view from their desk to the perks and benefits they enjoy on the daily. There is science behind the persuasive nature of stories – so use it.
8. Embrace employee advocacy
To expand on our previous point, employee advocacy is the way to tell an authentic story. Employee voices give candidates social proof. And the stats don’t lie – an overwhelming 54% of candidates believe that real-life stories and experiences from a company’s employees show that a company genuinely cares about diversity and inclusion. Make 2020 the year of perfecting the role of an employer advocate. And watch your candidate experience grow alongside it.
9. Don’t snub social media
There's a wealth of social media platforms to choose from – but with all that choice on offer, what platform should companies be paying attention to? It turns out it's all of them. Cross-channel or multi-channel marketing -- the practice of using multiple channels to reach candidates-- is all the rage in 2020. As recruitment practitioners, we're all about efficiency, and cross-channel marketing offers a way to do just that by letting you share content across several networks. It offers the benefit of building the candidate experience as it meets candidates where they’re already hanging out. Of course, the basics include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But consider expanding your horizons – think YouTube, IGTV and even Snapchat. Cross-promotional recruitment content sounds time-intensive but utilising a candidate engagement platform makes it pretty lit. As the kids would say…we think.
10. Make analytics your new best friend
Google Analytics isn't solely for marketers. It’s an invaluable tool that can give us some serious insights into online recruitment strategies -- ranging from organic traffic indicating excellent keyword usage to information about which job boards are giving you the best return on investment from the external sites are driving the most relevant traffic, there’s a tonne of great insights that Google Analytics can provide that will help you upgrade your online recruitment strategy.
11. PhraSEOlogy is everything
Speaking of keywords—they need to become your best friend in 2020. Producing highly informative content that candidates are searching for, is not enough. You need to ensure its visibility in the online space. Enter search engine optimization. It's now viewed as one of the most cost-effective, yet underutilised ways to direct organic traffic straight to a company’s vacancies. Millions of job-related searches on Google happen every single month - and that's a pool of active candidates at your fingertips. The concept is simple – a high ranking on search engine results equals more web traffic to your career portal and the open jobs on there. In 2020, optimise your career microsite design with SEO in mind. Through keyword-optimised rich content, the return on investment is impressive. And there are a select number of vendors out there that can deliver.
12. Shift the spotlight onto the EVP
The employee value proposition is your magnet for attracting candidates. Talent picks you – so to make your company their employer of choice, you have to pique their interest by differentiating yourself from the rest Make the total value you offer to your employees apparent and truthful. Think beyond compensation and benefits, and capture how employees benefit from career development, work environment, and company culture. Tips 7, 8 and 9 (you’ll be forgiven for scrolling, we’ll wait for you to recap!) are the way to communicate them at scale.
13. Harness the power of the human touch
Despite marked differences in the way new-gen candidates’ source and apply for jobs, they still crave a high level of human touchpoints when applying for jobs and undertaking the recruitment process. According to a survey published by The 5% Club and Schneider Electric UK, of the 1,000 young people surveyed, over half believed that human recruiters to be better at identifying talent versus AI-powered technology. And the onus isn’t solely on the HR department, your employee advocates should be visible and serve as sources of authentic information to candidates – and there’s no better place for them to share than on a candidate engagement platform.
14. Inject personality into job descriptions
You’re aware of unconscious bias. You’ve had many seminars and workshops on it. But putting what you’ve learned into practice can be difficult. Make sure you eliminate exclusive wording, corporate jargon, and poorly communicated benefits in job ads. Instead, focus on communicating highly specific content in an authentic way. The five pillars of your EVP should be included, as should basic information, like salary, application process and the assessment criteria of the post.
15. Represent at in-person events
Graduate recruitment at the country’s leading employers is expected to rise substantially in 2020. Meet candidates at their start point – careers fairs and panels at universities where you can put your employer advocates right in front of your talent pool and establish the human touch from the very beginning of their candidate experience journey. With properly trained advocates, you can avoid having to answer simple recruiting questions since conversations between talent and your employees provide ample opportunity for key questions to be answered authentically . And you can keep this conversation going on a candidate engagement platform – just like the one we offer.
16. Network and collaborate in new spaces
Almost all top employers have promoted their opportunities via graduate recruitment websites (think TARGETJobs, Milkround, and Prospects). But there are more fertile grounds you should be exploring to alleviate the pressure to source from your HR team – graduate careers directories like The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and The Guardian UK 300 . These lists are gold and are influential sources of information, guiding candidates’ career searches. So, it stands to reason that a feature on one of these lists undoubtedly helps employers raise their profile, getting directly in front of candidates on the online third-party resources that complement your touchpoints.
17. Maintain an up-to-the-minute career website
Both active and passive candidates visit your careers page to learn more about your company. It is the touchpoint for candidates, so make sure it’s informative, user-friendly and genuine. And an updated FAQs section is a must have. It’s a one-stop-shop for all basic information – giving candidates the basic details they’ll need to determine whether or not the process is for them. Include any info the candidate might seek during their application process, from the length of the interview process to the steps they’ll have to go through, eligibility requirements, how to access a career portal and so much more. By anticipating the inquiries you’re likely to get, you can avoid pesky repetitive emails and phone calls that eat into the workload and time of your talent acquisition team. Even better? Take stock of what FAQs are on there and keep adding to it as new queries come through. Make those FAQs work for you – add them to job descriptions and hyperlink them on other recruitment channels so candidates know exactly where to go. And even better? Connect them to your chatbot so that they’re easier or candidates to find.
18. Keep candidates in the loop
Candidates want to be updated throughout your hiring process. By automating this process, you build efficiencies in your process plus save budget. Take stock of the tools on your ATS – if built-in email templates are available, use them! If not, consider a candidate engagement platform that offers re-engagement features that target candidates with relevant content based on their activity.
19. Build your social proof
There’s no denying that statistics are impactful, but as we stated earlier stories are even more compelling. They play into an age-old marketing tactic used by companies to build trust with consumers and candidates alike, speaking the language of their audience, using visuals and providing evidence to show credibility. And its Human Resources that plays a key role in leveraging social proof to the new generation of job seekers.
A good place to start is by creating profiles on top platforms for employees to easily find out more about them. We’ve flagged social media earlier in this list, so tell your story and attract candidates through personal and company profiles. By building social proof through testimonials, reviews, case studies, statistics, social media takeovers and more you build brand personality. This unique identifier is used to convey the characteristics and values of a company –and get candidates hooked.
And there you have it. 19 tips we’ve learned from our clients in 2019 that you can action now to make 2020 a year that you can focus on vibing with the incoming HR technological revolution. AI-powered technology is on track to boost the productivity for internal recruiters by giving them the tools to speak to more top-quality talent efficiently - and this efficiency affords time, which HR team players can use to focus on delivering the human element of recruiting to candidates . At the same as dodging those exasperating questions that haunt you.