Recruit Like a Marketer


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  • HI my name is Maren Hogan. I run a full service marketing agency called Red Branch Media, where I basically tell a bunch of HR Technology providers how to reach buyers and users just like you. But before that I ran a community of a few hundred thousand recruiters and HR pros. I recruited for a short while and then ran the HR department at a financial firm before my boss was thrown in jail for fraud. It wasn’t HR’s fault. I promise everything I tell you today is legal…I think. No really though. The one thing you can rely on, is that when it comes to the parallels between marketing and recruiting, I know a thing or two.

  • If you’ve heard me speak before, you’ve likely heard that I am trying to introduce the awkward term “pactive” into our recruiting lexicon. Why? Because research shows that as many as 69-80% of our workforce is looking for a job in some form or another. So truly passive candidates are like 20% or somewhere in there and the fraction of THOSE who are qualified for your jobs in your company are an even smaller market. Not that you shouldn’t target those people. If you are recruiting for security clearances or a very specific kind of scientist or engineer, you need to ensure that you carve out a strategy for them. If, on the other hand, you are looking to reach the pactives (those folks who are happily employed but always willing to listen to a new job opportunity and are totally cool with being contacted via social, phone or email, then there are three tactics to use:

    Advertising. Universum research shows that grads see about 7 sources that reference an employer before beginning to form an opinion. So this really means you need to be everywhere. A job is a big deal so market it like you would a pricey handbag or luxury car, not a pair of sneakers or Black Friday pots and pans set.
  • This difficult to see graph ran on our blog recently and is from our friends over at Software Advice. They ran a story about hard to dill openings, including one of their own. As soon as the story hit the presses, they got a spike in applications and were able to get a much broader reach than they initially realize. Other ways you can use PR include bragging about awesome perks, focusing on trends that you’ve noticed in your industry and putting out press releases about interesting things/trying to get awards for your company. In a cynical age, it’s hard to believe that candidates care about these things but working for a cause ranks quite highly in surveys of today’s workers (millennials).
  •  Think like a marketerLots of marketers don't handle the research and analysis of their target market. Instead there are entire schools of marketing thought (and internal marketing departments) dedicated to customer nurturing. Sometimes the most effective way to build a talent pipeline is to be willing to reexamine your recruiting strategy from the most basic level. Jackson discovered that by using targeted searches and testing the success of each part of his recruitment process, he was able to attract qualified candidates to positions he had previously had trouble filling through job boards alone.This is the process of (basically), separating the wheat from the chaff. You divide the people with which you've been in contact (as an organization or team) into groups and once they are divided by your preset criteria, you devise a plan by which to nurture them. While lots of smaller companies prefer to do this with a very personalized feel, most recruiters (and marketers) will tell you that it can snowball very quickly, so it's best to implement some sort of automation station to make it easier on yourself. Remember, you can always reach out personally to the cream of the crop.
  • Marketers generally have inventory. If they find the perfect customer, no one is gonna say, “Sorry, we don’t have anything to sell to that person.” because that’s total BS. Convince your higher ups that… Recruitment is Not a Point in Time. What I mean by this is if you are hiring for a nurse position at your hospital, SOP may state that you post the job opening for 15 days, but by doing so you are missing engaging great, qualified, and passive candidates who did not happen upon your job posting that is only published for a short period of time.Key positions like business development, product marketing, strategic operations can make or break a new business. If you find the perfect candidate, make a place for them and keep the others interested by providing real value and being honest about your pipelining objectives.
  • You guys, candidates are not having a great time out there. Hiring cycles are like 45-90 in some cases. People hardly ever hear back from their desired employers. And recruiters are taking the blame. In some circles, recruiters are not held in that much higher regard than a used car salesman. And I was married to a used car salesman. Anyway, the point is, we’re failing jobseekers. Whether you are a corporate recruiter, a one-woman HR shop, the hiring manager trying to find qualified peeps, we should be sharing information! Marketing is going through a bit of a Renaissance period right now and, as I’ve pointed out before, where marketing goes, recruiting soon follows. The same tactics that allow a marketer to reach tons of consumers at once were soon adopted in the form of recruitment marketing and employer branding. 
  • If recruiting truly takes much of its lead from how marketers are using technology and attracting customers, then we’d be smart to take a look at what is trending in marketing, wait for it to get vetted by those marketing pros and then try it out ourselves. After all, if Recruiting is just Marketing and Advertising in sheep’s clothing, then we should all be doing the following, starting yesterday. No nonsense, no excuses. Just tactics that work! 
  • Half of recruiting and hiring people is attraction. And shockingly, folks in HR or even recruiting, don't always see it this way to begin with. You need someone in marketing to explain how your message will look to your "target market" (which is really your candidate pipeline) and what sort of "buying behavior" (job history and online activities) you should be looking for. Attracting people is something marketing does every day and they can help you get better at it in your recruiting efforts. Not every recruiting activity has a marketing parallel but I would say at least 85% DO.
  • They have to. Over the past ten years, email and social have forced marketing to practice what they preach. If you've ever sent out a mass email blast with a mistake as a marketing pro (raises hand) and gotten razzed in email, on Twitter and had your phone ring all in the same minute, you know what I mean. This can be a great thing when it comes to contacting those candidates that didn't make the cut. It might be a natural impulse to ignore or forget about them, but that's not service-minded. Marketing will teach you how to deliver the message softly but effectively (and they probably know a few automation tricks to make your life easier too.) So let’s get into 7 marketing tips and tricks you can steal from the marketing department to shoot your recruiting experience through the roof (in a good way)
  • How do marketers talk to thousands of people on a daily basis? Not without some serious help. Nurturing applicants through the process looks pretty similar to nurturing target customers. There are standard drop off places, a user experience to consider and ideal times to reach out. Here’s how you do it: 1) Go through your own process. You may have heard this ad nauseum but that’s because it’s important. You know how your parents said “Look both ways before crossing the street” more than once? Yeah that. Take notes on what irritates you, buy your friends some pizza and beer and see if they’ll do it. Their input is even more valuable because they don’t really know or care about your company, so more questions may crop up.
  • When do they get bored? What is working? What isn’t working? Ask them to find for and apply for jobs they’d actually be interested in. Make sure they go to the home page and find the career page on their own BTW.Customize your content to leads. What does this mean? It means if your software tells you that people head to your FAQs page mid-application more than any other page, you might have a break down in your system and abandoned applications may not be indicative of a poor applicant but of a crummy system or a good system with a glitch.
  • Use analytics to discover where and WHY people are dropping off. I know that no one has the IT department begging for more work but with today’s services, you don’t need them. Your marketing department probably has access to some sort of web tracking system (for marketing) that will show which pages get the most activity, how long people are prone to stay on which page and which pages send them running for the hills. Once you have this figured out, you can begin what we in the marketing community have termed (and this is a technical term) “reaching out”.
  • This can take several forms: If you are using social job postings or ads, use retargeting to get people to come back and complete the application process. Thinking a potential employer is following you throughout the application process is kinda flattering.  Front load your application. Before they upload their resume and fill out your kajillion prior employment fields (those are the worst beeteedubs) ask for the email. In marketing, we call this a lead. If your marketing or ATS will allow it, “tag” the ones who don’t complete the application process so you can later reach out en masse. Anyway, get the pertinent info first. Know when to hold em. Build a target employee profile so you can reach out to those that actually make sense and not waste time and energy with those who aren’t going to be a fit, now or ever. Live chat. Ever notice that most selling websites have a chat function? It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but organizations that go out of their way to answer questions, provide support and go above and beyond, are attractive. It costs roughly 50 bucks a month and studies show that people are far more likely to ask for help from a live chat service than visit even a well-labeled FAQ page.
  • (CRM, live chat, document library, talent acquisition library)
  • How to reach lots of people in a short amount of time. This is what marketers do, in fact, it’s what they live for. Most of us spend our days trying to communicate with lots of people in a teensy amount of time.  Expand your presence. Marketers in 2014 are making themselves available a little bit, everywhere. Should recruiters do the same? Marketers call this “streamlining your brand presence”, which is a fancy way of saying “reflect the same persona to all people”.  
  • But more isn’t always better is it? Narrowcasting, as CMO of Avaya Mark Wilson explains, is the act of creating intimate conversations with small audiences. These audiences are selected by using very specific parameters, which are set based on company data, purchasing statistics and demo- and psycho-graphics. So why will this work for talent acquisition? Because we have the data: Many recruiting organizations have the data on their best (and worst) hires sitting in their HRIS at this very moment. Using that data, even if incomplete, to create an educated guess at a narrowcasting profile, can jump start a narrowcasting strategy.
  • Get mobile. Mobile has been talked about for a very long time in the recruiting and marketing spaces, but have you (likely the own of a mobile phone/device/tablet yourself) seen it advertising much more than applications for….the mobile device? Yeah me either. Savvy recruiters and marketing pros though aren’t ready to give up on the mobile device, in fact, bigger and better data plans, more access throughout the world and consumer tech are all pushing us closer to a reality where mobile is not just USED widely, it’s a key strategy in your overall marketing and talent acquisition plans for 2013.Social allows you to have a conversation with a few people or with many people. The advent of mobile makes it easy to keep that conversation going and touch people/customers/applicants/employees throughout their day. Focusing on a specific group of people and tailoring communications to their needs and desires that reach them wherever and WHEN ever they are is much simpler with social.
  • (CRM, live chat, document library, talent acquisition library)
  • (granular FB and LI ads/campaigns/groups) 
  • Predictive data. It hasn’t really come into its own in HR yet (you’d never know if from the hoopla around the term BiG DATA though) but it is something we should TRY to use to our advantage. I say try because sometimes, and I will let you in on a little secret here, marketing is about making a bunch of guesses and hoping they pay off. But before we throw that spaghetti up against the wall, we need to see if it will stick and that’s where knowing your talent pool (market) comes in. This can be really easy if you are regional but it gets harder the bigger your pipeline becomes- For your talent try some tried and true marketing ideas. For example, got a talent community, talent network or stagnant ATS list of “almost hireds?” Use gated resources to draw them in so they can be ready when the time comes. This is where they give you increasingly more information about themselves in exchange for educational and information about your company or industry.
  • Create a job calendar. It shouldn’t be too hard to head back to your records and figure out when you’ve posted jobs in the past. It could help lay the groundwork for a workforce or succession plan. Note when you get a new req and when you fill it – allow your colleagues to also post it into google calendar. Pull your total project into a project management template that shows when who does what from start to finish. What about a little research into your pipeline? Hiring habits? Do you always do a bunch of hiring after a lousy 3rd quarter? Note that so your team can work on filling that pipeline early and maybe even cut your hiring time for that busy time down a bit.
  • (CRM, live chat, document library, talent acquisition library)
  • This demands targeted, mobile-ready content and a willingness to adapt internal marketing processes. With 1.75 billion consumers expected in 2014 to be in possession of a smartphone and 420 million owning a tablet device (Source: eMarketer and Business Insider), mobile marketing is a trend that businesses can’t afford to ignore. Study landing page data from companies who are marketing what do you see? You’ll see a clear call to action that entices the buyer (applicant) to move forward…even if it’s just a little bit. 
  • Video is starting to matter more in business technology period, which means that it’s going to start affecting talent acquisition practices. While today it’s not part of a mainstream recruiting process, that day is sure to come. Smart marketing and recruiting professionals will start experimenting with enterprise and consumer technologies that use video, if only to get comfortable with video and see the possible practical applications of video in their daily processesPeople love video, especially when it shows them the answer to a burning question.
  • Place increased value on analytics. Marketers are finding they have to justify the ROI for newer channels like social and mobile. Recruiters are in the exact same boat. Hence the growing number of HR technology tools that feature a dashboard like tool, giving even novice recruiting (and marketing) pros the chance to view how their “campaigns” are doing at a glance. Getting used to focusing on data now is an excellent idea with nearly every business publication and blog (including us!) touting the advantages and impending tsunami of big data and pros who are ready and willing to make sense of it. Analytics, particularly real-time, allow users to tweak their content and channels for the most advantageous response, key for public facing jobs like marketing and…you got it, recruiting. It’s said in management and leadership circles that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” and this applies as much for social recruiting. The real problem though is what to measure that tells you the whole story of how you end up with the people you hire.
  • Marketers allow certain clients to self-select. We also know that some clients are more trouble than they are worth. The trick is not making them angry when they’re shown the door.
  • Be crystal clear about your culture and values. Everywhere.Ease of access trumps fancy design.Provide candidates with a closer look into the organization via social channels.
  • Place increased value on analytics. Marketers are finding they have to justify the ROI for newer channels like social and mobile. Recruiters are in the exact same boat. Hence the growing number of HR technology tools that feature a dashboard like tool, giving even novice recruiting (and marketing) pros the chance to view how their “campaigns” are doing at a glance. Getting used to focusing on data now is an excellent idea with nearly every business publication and blog (including us!) touting the advantages and impending tsunami of big data and pros who are ready and willing to make sense of it. Analytics, particularly real-time, allow users to tweak their content and channels for the most advantageous response, key for public facing jobs like marketing and…you got it, recruiting. It’s said in management and leadership circles that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” and this applies as much for social recruiting. The real problem though is what to measure that tells you the whole story of how you end up with the people you hire.
  • So what does a good recruiting/marketing strategy have? A profile of its ideal candidate- If you work for a large organization or team, you may want to build a cultural profile before a skills profile to ensure that you can distribute across both manufacturing and sales (for example). A clear idea of the ‘sales cycle’- For recruiters, this is your time to fill (successfully) metric. Use this to gauge whether your narrowcasting strategy is improving your process or screwing it up. A straightforward message with a clear CTA- “We want to work with people like you because we are ______ and you are _______. Apply Now!” Okay so that’s a little heavy handed, but you see where I’m going. This is our goal, this is why it’s our goal, this is why we’ve approached you and this is what we want you to do about it. Make sure your message (even in microform) revolves around this central theme. Many time campaigns get caught up in creating content and forget what they want their “consumers” to DO. A list of channels that your consumer will see- Replace consumer with candidate and there you go. Do they listen to Sirius XM? Are they on Twitter more than Facebook? Do they visit the gym down the street from your major competitor? Do they listen to podcasts? Are they searching job boards? Figure out what your candidate does all day, then get there.
  • Recruit Like a Marketer

    2. 2. If you want to speak with me after, just walk up here! MY NAME IS @MARENHOGAN
    3. 3. Passive candidates barely exist anymore. Today, we call them PACTIVE! PASSIVE?
    6. 6. STAY LOOSE, MAN If you find the perfect candidate… …make a place for them, and keep the others interested.
    7. 7. 77% are likely to share a negative experience. No news = bad news Reduces amount of accepted offers. Bad branding. Fewer and fewer quality applicants apply. A negative experience…
    8. 8. “I can’t possibly respond to every resume that comes into our shop.” YOU’RE NOT HELPLESS. RECRUITING IS NOT HELPLESS. “We’re too big/small busy/understaffed/ underfunded.”
    9. 9. is something marketing does
    10. 10. NURTURE YOUR APPLICANTS Nurture your applicants…like customers Go through your process…no matter what
    11. 11. Frustrating? BORED?
    12. 12. Employee Profiles Social Job Ads Application Live Chat Front Loading Target
    13. 13. TOOLS TO USE
    16. 16. TOOLS TO USE
    17. 17. KNOW THE TALENT POOL Create profiles/templates Build gated forms Generate surveys
    18. 18. NOTICING TRENDS Create a job calendar Research your pipeline
    19. 19. HAVE A CLEAR CTA
    20. 20. Create a community through video Video is starting to matter. Smart recruiters are recognizing the need to jump on board.
    21. 21. your way out of bad hires
    22. 22. TOOLS TO USE
    24. 24. MEASURE
    27. 27. THANKS! @marenhogan 402.577.0760
    28. 28. SOURCES and-how/ marketers/ recruiting/ weapon-1113/