Recruitment marketing enters the digital world
This new innovative, creative and full digital world has overtaken our lives. We work online, we shop online, and we spend our free time online, so why aren’t more companies utilising available tools?
The digital world allows you to overcome barriers that historically stood in the way for recruiters. The main barrier: time. A few years ago, if you weren’t available to attend an event or seminar, you missed out, or you relied on a colleague’s interpretation. Now, shortly after the seminar has been conducted, you’ll find videos, sound recording and blog posts highlighting the main points and findings of the seminar.
It’s important that recruiters remember that online is a channel not a medium. This channel can be used to spread your message, but it also allows others to spread your message for you – saving you time and effort.
Online, users can be placed into two boxes: audience and creators. Internet users have more access to information than ever, and are no longer defined by their boxes. Users can read, listen, view, comment or post photos, videos and blogs. Consumers, and their online output, play a massive part in the decision making process. People review just about anything online, and consumers are more likely check online reviews, before making a decision on a purchase.
This is where we see how effective this new digital world can be, not only for recruiters, but for business in general. In marketing terms, before the birth of the internet, outbound marketing was king. TV and radio ads, ads in papers and magazines are all types of outbound content. But now the conversation has shifted. Instead of brands shouting at customers, customers have started shouting back. Brands must converse with consumers to utilise them to spread your message. Social media sites, blogs, and forums allow your consumers to participate in a conversation with you, and is known as inbound marketing.
By taking part in a conversation, you are building your brand, credibility and trust. The reputation of your brand is now one of the main things that can determine a sale, or no sale.
Consumers won’t shy away from researching your brand on social media sites; they’ll see how you interact with customers, they’ll look at your blog to see if you’re an expert in the industry and they’ll look at reviews from previous customers to see if your service is for them. It’s important that recruiters have fingers in many digital pies, to ensure brand consistency across the online space.
To utilise this space effectively, you’ll need to learn to let go. You cannot have full control when dealing with social media or online forums. People will say what they like about you and your company, whether you like it or not. Not every company is perfect, and you should expect bad comments or reviews from time to time, but what matters, is how you handle the criticism.
Recruitment can be taken online, and I don’t just mean creating a website for your business. Recruiters can find niche audiences for niche roles by targeting groups and segments on social media networks. Find communities, shared interests or just contact a specific region with targeted content.
Once you have joined a network or online community you need to build a relationship. Speak their language, use their terminology, and find out about their interests and motivations. Once you have learnt about the people you are targeting – you can send focused and interesting campaigns which resonate with them.
However, just because you have new channels, doesn’t mean you should forget about the old channels. Traditional media such as print, phone, TV, radio and direct mail still has a place in the world of recruitment. Not everyone has access to online channels, and as such, your offline channels should be approachable, and represent your brand in the same way.
LinkedIn: Formal recruitment
LinkedIn is a social media tool that many recruiters could not live without. LinkedIn allows users to create a personal page and identity, upon which they can upload their CV, and begin linking to contacts, colleagues old and new, and get in touch with potential clients.
Users can recommend others for a skill, recommend them as a colleague, and find potential jobs. By joining groups, users can get in touch with other communities and specific groups of people. They can use the community to find and share new jobs.
LinkedIn is a great place for recruiters to showcase their knowledge and expertise, and this should be transferred to your email marketing. Transfer this content onto your blog, or create e-books and e-guides to send to your clients.
Facebook: Brand ambassador
Facebook can also be used to connect with consumers. Although Facebook is more focused on entertainment than LinkedIn is, it has plenty of space for recruiters.
Facebook allows you and your customers to share experiences, join groups, connect with others or start a group based on a specific topic or industry. Facebook is also a fantastic platform for promoting events. Send event invitations, or create an open event to ensure the word is spread.
As with all social media, Facebook is an extension of your brand. You need to ensure your message is consistent across all social media sites, but you can relax on Facebook. It’s a personal network, and will need a slightly different tone, if you want to engage your clients.
Here are some final tips for recruiters entering the digital world:
- Don’t push it. Online users are wary of their security, and recruiting on social media can be seen as pushy. Always be authentic and honest, and don’t force people into sharing personal data.
- Involve your people. There may be someone in the office who knows more about social media and online than you. Ask your office for opinions, guidance, and ideas.
- Make it easy. Include links to your social media profiles on your emails, your website, and any other correspondence you send out. Users are more likely to find you on social media, than look for your website, so make sure you’re easy to find.
- Recruit in niche groups. As the online world is so large, niche groups can have more of an impact, than larger groups. Create your own community.
- Use new concepts. Don’t shy away from using social media if you think it’s not for you. Check out your competitors and see how they’re tackling social sites.