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The Tru Files - Social Recruiting and Personalization


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This is part 10 of our Tru Recruitment ebook series.

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The Tru Files - Social Recruiting and Personalization

  1. 1. 5 e Tru Files SOCIAL RECRUITING PERSONALIZATION 4.0 TRU HEAT INDEX @BillBoorman and Klaus Toepfer
  2. 2. 10 /02 events 8,000field of recruiting. 48 We scoured presentations and conversations from the last twelve months of TRU events to bring you the best forward-looking ideas in the attendees Big ideas
  3. 3. social recruiting PERSONALIZATION /03 this will be the year you move beyond aimless social chatter. If you want your social networks to function as recruiting power tools, it’s time to consider personalization.
  4. 4. social recruiting PAEILNORSZAINOT /04 Pre-2006 (the year Facebook opened to anyone over 13 with an email address), recruiters would post and pray—post a job on the company website and a few job boards, and then wait for applicants to respond. When professional social networking sites like LinkedIn became popular, recruiters moved on to a source and spray approach—identify every java programmer in the area, for example, and send out mass emails hoping for just a few hits. Neither approach makes any sense. Both assume a recruiter’s job is to attract as many applicants as possible in the hopes that one of the hundreds is exactly right. But in truth you aren’t searching for hundreds—you’re actually searching for just one person. One perfectly suited candidate for the position. And for most companies, the 999 applicants who aren’t chosen are essentially throwaways—in the metaphorical wastebasket of recruiting files. Something has to change.
  5. 5. social recruiting PAEILNORSZAINOT /05 Recruiters must begin working on attracting the right candidates rather than a massive quantity of candidates. And recruiters must begin wooing not only the right candidate, but also those who may not be a good fit … for now. Many applicants you reject could become a perfect fit for another opening. With that in mind, every applicant should be considered part of a larger network of talent—people you want to stay in touch with for possible future openings. People you want to impress, even if you’re not on the verge of hiring them.
  6. 6. social recruiting PAEILNORSZAINOT /06 From talent rejecters to talent attractors According to TRU conversations over the last 12 months, this will be the year of behaving less like job brokers and more like relationship-builders. Recruiters will spend less time scouring the globe to fill a particular current vacancy, and more time building talent networks for jobs that may become available in the future. If it’s true that recruiters will be given the role of building networks for forward-looking talent needs, then we must stop thinking in terms of candidates and clients, and instead start thinking about audience. How will we interact with this vast network of talent in a way that’s interesting and engaging? Particularly given we won’t be dangling a job in front of them? With an audience-minded approach, recruiters will ask: What kind of information do job candidates seek out online? Which social networks do they use, and to what end? How do job seekers prefer to receive information? How do responses to these questions differ when we consider unique segments of our market (e.g. engineers vs. developers; millennials vs. experienced professionals)?
  7. 7. /07 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION Answering these questions—and dozens of others—will help recruiters build long-term relationships with their audiences rather than one-shot tactical relationships. By understanding job candidates as members of an audience, recruiters will be able to develop content streams (e.g. educational articles, eBooks and videos) to keep in touch with candidates beyond a single application or job opening.
  8. 8. /08 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION The promise (and pitfalls) of personalization This is also the year recruiters will learn audience development tactics like market research, segmentation, targeting and personalization—the Holy Grail of publishers everywhere. First, let’s understand what personalization means. When marketers discuss personalization, they are referring to content personalization—offering web visitors content or product recommendations based on that individual’s prior viewing or purchasing history. There are two types of personalization: Segment-driven personalization: As an example, a T-shirt company can deduce, based on viewing patterns, whether a visitor is male or female, and whether or not they are a parent. The company makes product recommendations based on broad customer segments (or what marketers call personas).
  9. 9. /09 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION One-to-one personalization: Used more often in consumer marketing, one-to-one personalization offers customized recommendations based on a single individual’s viewing patterns (ascertained through cookies or by sign-in data). If last month the customer spent most of her time examining women’s shirts with cartoon designs, the next time she visits the website, it will serve up examples similar to those she enjoyed last time. To apply the personalization concept to recruiting: • Sourcing tools offer very nuanced profiles of individual candidates or groups of candidates. Ideally, a recruiter can use all the details within these profiles to create a customized candidate experience. For example, if a Toronto-based statistician working in biotech visits your website, he will encounter open positions well-suited to his background and location. • If a UX designer opts-in to receive updates from you, she will get notices of open positions and educational information that suit her particular profile. • If your organization wants to host an event for developers in the London area, you’ll be able to query your database to find out who should be invited, and which educational tracks you should promote to different segments of your developer database. By understanding job candidates as members of an audience, recruiters will be able to develop content streams (e.g. educational articles, eBooks and videos) to keep in touch with candidates beyond a single application or job opening.
  10. 10. /10 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION Keep in mind, personalization doesn’t always have to be technology-driven. Consider this example: Your company will need to hire 10 java programmers in your London office over the next three years, beginning in six months (which means you have time to cultivate relationships). Your sourcing solution has divined a group of 200 high-value java programmers in the London metro area, and an additional 200 across England. How to begin? Will you send out a mass email? Get on the phone and begin dialing? If you answered yes, for shame! This is a ripe opportunity to personalize the recruiting experience for your 400 targets. Do they use social media and where are they most active? Which social network groups do they participate in? What subjects interest them most? Do they use Foursquare to check-in to local pubs? Set up listening posts to study your target candidates. For example, use HootSuite to build Twitter lists of cohort groups (e.g. java programmers at Dell) and listen for common themes and activities. With a more studied understanding of your target group, begin segmenting the list with an eye toward personalization. For example, younger programmers may respond to different messaging than more established professionals, or women may use different social channels than men. Choose segments you feel will meaningfully segregate the different cohorts, particularly in relation to what your cohorts find interesting online, and develop content streams for each of these.
  11. 11. /11 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION What drives and inspires your high-value candidates? Do your competitors’ programmers like to visit the Starbucks two blocks away from the office? Place an ad on the bus stop outside to catch their attention. Do they share a common obsession with Family Guy? Live-tweet an episode and engage them. The key is to approach them in a way that’s interesting and personalized. As your program becomes more sophisticated, you may invest in content personalization solutions—such as those your colleagues in marketing likely already use. These are most effective for companies that already publish educational content for job seekers (e.g. blog posts, eBooks or videos) and will help create a personalized candidate “journey” through your library of content. And unlike the previous example of hiring 10 java programmers, using personalization technology will let you scale your recruiting outreach efforts to encompass many disciplines and regions. Plus it will be sustainable over time, allowing you to maintain longer term relationships. The goal is to treat people less like job candidates for currently open positions, and more like members of a lifelong professional community of talent. As long as you provide high-quality, easy interactions—whether by sharing informative content, customized job openings or other personalized experiences—you’ll be learning more and more about these members of your talent network. Ideally, each interaction builds on the last, until you have such a depth of information about each candidate that you’ll be able to create job matches much more easily and quickly.
  12. 12. /12 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION Employees as an asset Your employees are already connected to people you would potentially like to recruit, and have the means to make an introduction—and most recruiters have already used this method. But more sophisticated recruiters are taking it a step further, asking employees to share information about the company or share high-quality educational content. Recruiters beware: You should only take this step if what you have to share with your audience is truly of the highest quality, such that your employees will be proud to share it. So if you think you’re ready, consider these four steps: • Design easy-to-share content. While it seems a small point, unless the individual in question works in HR, they aren’t paid (nor inspired) to help you recruit. Ensure your content-sharing ask is automated and easy. Solutions like Circulate ( allow you to send a digest of content to employees for social sharing; with a simple drag-and-drop your employees can share brand-published articles and job openings with their peer group.
  13. 13. /13 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION • Consider mining (with permission) your employees’ networks. Tools like DataHug (a Salesforce plugin) tie together your employees’ professional networks, letting you unearth who within your organization may be connected to a high-priority lead. For example, you may be looking for a UX designer and by coincidence Joe in customer service is connected to someone on your shortlist. • Be transparent. Establish immediately and unambiguously what you’re going to do with any information or contacts your employees share. And never message anyone without explicit permission. (Even better, always ask employees to initiate the conversation.) • Think carefully about rewards. Whatever you do, don’t call it a referral program, which makes it sound temporary and a bit like frequent flying. And second, never pay employees to refer people in their networks. Paying finders fees simply invites complexity and regulation. We find giving gratitude to employees is best designed as a series of “micro-rewards.” Rackspace, a cloud-based hosting company known for its strong workplace culture, hands out “Takes One to Know One” T-shirts to employees to who refer new talent, and also raffles gadgets like iPads. All small but consistently positive signs of thanks for sharing networks and content.
  14. 14. /14 social recruiting PERSONALIZATION: actionable insights Ask the experts If it’s true recruiters will stop thinking in terms of candidates and clients, and instead start thinking about audience, then how will recruiters interact with this vast network of talent in the future? Begin with research. To engage professionals who are not necessarily looking for a job, recruiters must understand what interests professionals (defined by segment or role), what questions they may have, and where they currently seek out information. Which social networks do they use, and to what end? How do job seekers prefer to receive information? Answering these questions—and dozens of others—will help recruiters map out an engagement strategy. Partner with marketing. Marketers in your organization have likely been adapting the way they reach customers in the last five years, focusing on educational content and moving away from purely promotional content. They know what changes recruiters will need to make to engage potential job candidates online. Consult with marketing and ask them to help you define your audience engagement strategy. Build a content framework. To engage professionals over a long period of time, recruiters will need an ongoing stream of content to share through social networks. Begin to think about what this library will look like (e.g. educational articles, eBooks and videos), and the processes and team members you’ll need to keep it going. Members of the marketing team can help you build a strategy and train the recruiting team in areas like social media engagement and measurement of impact.
  15. 15. social recruiting PERSONALIZATION /15 thE #tru story I first discovered the Unconference concept when I led a track at #RecruitFest in Toronto in 1999. I was taken aback by the way discussion flowed and how different the format was to a traditional conference. I led a track all day under a tree and learnt far more than I gave. Two months later and back in the UK, we ran the first #truLondon at Canary Wharf in November 2009. Today, we’re running dozens of #tru events a year across Europe, North America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Thousands of recruiters, HR leaders and providers come together in an informal spirit of information sharing and networking. #tru is based on the BarCamp principle, which means that everybody can be an active participant instead of listening to speakers and watching presentations all day. The emphasis is on communication and the free exchange of ideas and experiences where the participants fuel the conversations. bill boorman
  16. 16. social recruiting PERSONALIZATION /16 The role of the recruiter The role of the recruiter is experiencing a fundamental change: It is no longer about being the gatekeeper who waits for applications coming in, neither is it about being the broker who wants to “sell” the job to as many people possible. To be a successful recruiter you need to focus on relationship-building and management, while engaging your hiring managers to become part of the relationship. Content matters, especially first-hand-content provided by experts! In order to engage the hiring managers to invest in building relationships, companies have to accept the strategic impact of talent and need to align their recruiting structure. How many “Chief Talent Officers” do you know? “Talent” has not made it to the board yet, but almost certainly will do in the future. Building talent communities will become the key success factor for companies. We will no longer speak of “candidates” instead referring to “audience” and “communities”. To stay on top of this, you need to be equipped with the relevant tools and technology. But besides the technology driven trends, there’s still one thing that is key to success: Understand the talent you’re targeting and speak in the same language, while communicating and offering content which is both relevant and authentic. And don’t forget, there’s one thing which will make the difference: the personal touch! Klaus Toepfer Klaus Toepfer, Director Talent Sourcing EMEA, access KellyOCG Klaus leads the KellyOCG Talent Sourcing Practice, which designs and delivers project-related support of bespoke recruiting and employer branding activities to attract, hire and retain academic talent through a toolset of innovative products, services and solutions. He is based in Cologne, Germany. Klaus has been working for more than 15 years in the employer branding and HR-marketing business. Before joining KellyOCG, he led the graduate recruitment for Germany, Switzerland and Austria at Booz Company. Klaus holds a degree in psychology and completed the Young Managers Program at INSEAD.
  17. 17. For more thought leadership go to EXIT 2 1 To learn more about the future of recruiting, download our entire set of TRU Files eBooks. e Tru Files CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE 2 3.5 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files CULTURE BRANDING 5.0 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files MOBILITY 5 3.5 5.0 5.0 About Kelly Services® Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provided employment to approximately 540,000 employees in 2013. Revenue in 2013 was $5.4 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Download The Talent Project, a free iPad® app by Kelly Services. This information may not be published, broadcast, sold, or otherwise distributed without prior written permission from the authorized party. All trademarks are property of their respective owners. An Equal Opportunity Employer. © 2014 Kelly Services, Inc. TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files HIRE WORK, NOT WORKERS 8 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files ASSESSMENTS 3 4.0 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files SOURCING TECHNOLOGY 6 4.0 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files GAMIFICATION 9 3.5 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files VIDEO INTERVIEWING 4 3.5 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files NEW ROLE OF THE RECRUITER 7 TRU HEAT INDEX e Tru Files SOCIAL RECRUITING PERSONALIZATION 4.0 TRU HEAT INDEX