Recruiting is all about relationships. When it comes to engaging candidates, the landscape is continuously changing. Years ago, no one used LinkedIn, no one used Twitter. Social media has fundamentally altered the environment in which we recruit. But outside of social media, there are other factors that illustrate this point. According to the most recent Career Xroads Source of Hire Report survey, employee referrals are still a top source of hire. The report also shows an increase in social media hires.
Being a sourcing professional myself, I'm always eager for this report to come out each year as a way to benchmark our clients against "the norm", but from an engagement standpoint we can see that it is the relationship that influences the hire. We've also seen that companies with a strong brand connection can see hires from aggregators that rely on SEO increase as much as 500% in recent years. Job boards are less of a starting destination as they are a landing page for a quick Google search. Brands with a strong connection can receive immediate engagement from applicants.
Basically it all boils down to one very simple formula:
Brand + Engagement = 1 Very Successful Hiring Method
As an RPO service provider, often times our #1 asset is the client brand. Behavioral statistics surrounding social media prove that there is a cultural shift in how people consume and make decisions. A strong client brand can make all the difference, as seen in the research for Drivers of New Product Recommending and Referral Behavior at Social Network Sites, which stated fairly obviously that a referred brand is more likely to result in the desired engagement (sale, contact, response, etc). Consumer marketing has known this for a long time, but so far in my experience I've always been surprised by the companies or service providers that take this for granted or, even worse, don't utilize their brand at all for recruitment purposes. If you are hiring within a company with a strong Business à Consumer brand, then there are already thousands of people out there that want to work for you! You just have to engage them!
No, I'm not talking about slapping up some logos or videos on your career page. I'm also not talking about spamming jobs out to LinkedIn. I don't care how many resumes you have in your applicant tracking system, either. For employment purposes, no one wants to be a random resume posted in an endless job board database or an applicant in a black-hole ATS. Now it's all about engagement and relationships. What I care about is what you are doing to engage those people. Do you have any remarketing campaigns? Are you maximizing your employee referral program? Do your recruiters have a face and are they available? Do you have a CRM to manage relationships? If the answer is no, why not? The good news is that many of the tools used to do this (like social media) are free to use. All it takes is a little time, some commitment, and some best practices. Maybe it's time to walk down the hall to the marketing department for a little while. Observe, and then let's try some of it in the recruiting space!